Mouth breathing is a common habit that many people have developed in early childhood and stays with them for life. This habit can however, be broken.
Chronic mouth breathers tend to have increased:
- breathing rate, heart rate
- Headaches, sinusitis
- Sore/dry throat and cold symptoms, tonsil swelling
- Chronic cough/throat clearing
- Noisy breathing, eating
- Impaired sense of smell
- Asthmatic symptoms
- Poor sleep/sleep apnoea—leading to chronic fatigue/ADHD
- Poor posture
- Digestive disturbances—gas, upset stomach, acid reflux, etc.
- High blood pressure, heart problems
- Erectile dysfunction disorders
They often present with the following dental issues:
- Gingivitis and gum disease
- Bad breath
- Higher risk for cavities
- Malocclusion (overbite, deep bite, reverse bite)
- Reduced dental arch space (narrow roof of mouth)
- greater potential for orthodontic relapse
- TMJ dysfunction – grinding/clenching
Most mouth breathing habits form due to:
- Thumb or finger sucking habit
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Respiratory infection
Due to the increased breathing rate of mouth breathers, the CO2/O2 levels in the blood are altered and therefore the pH, resulting in more stress/pressure put on other bodily functions/organs.
Things to remember:
- lips together and nasal breathing when not talking or doing moderate/heavy exercise.
- address blocked nose – rhinitis, physical blockage…perhaps a visit to your GP is needed.
- as you start breathing through your nose, the inflammation/stuffiness should subside and then it’ll become easier to breathe!
- breathing from your diaphragm is best – try lying on your back before bed and nasal breathe for 2min ensuring your tummy rises on the inhale and fall on the exhale.