Do You Open-Mouth Breath?

sunny smiles mouth breathing

Breathing is the most natural thing we do, so you may not pay much attention to HOW you breathe. While normal breathing occurs through the nose, some individuals habitually engage in open-mouth breathing. This refers to the act of consistently breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. At Sunny Smiles Family Dentistry, we understand what open-mouth breathing could mean for the airway and its potential impact on dental health.

The Importance of Nasal Breathing

Breathing through the nose has so many benefits we take for granted. Firstly, the nose acts as a natural air filter, trapping particles and allergens from entering our air passages. The presence of tiny hairs and mucus in the nasal passages helps to filter and humidify the air before it reaches the lungs. Additionally, it encourages deeper and more efficient breathing, allowing for optimal oxygen exchange.

Possible Causes of Open-Mouth Breathing

Open-mouth breathing can be due to a structural abnormality, or it could be something as simple as a habitual behavior developed over time. Chronic allergies, sinusitis, or obstructions within the nasal passages can also force one to rely on breathing through the mouth to get enough air. In any case, it could mean big trouble for your oral health.

Decay and Alignment Issues

Do you frequently have new cavities yet engage in a healthy diet? It could be due to a dry mouth. Open-mouth breathing often leads to less saliva production. This is a problem since this slippery substance we take for granted is a natural defense mechanism. It protects our teeth from tooth decay and maintains a healthy oral environment. Lower saliva production increases the risk of dry mouth, gum disease, and tooth decay. Additionally, breathing through the mouth can disrupt the harmonious growth and development of the jaws and facial bones, potentially leading to the need for orthodontics.

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

Do you or your child have red, inflamed gums? Chronic mouth-breathing can cause the gums to become dry and inflamed, making them more susceptible to gingivitis and periodontal disease. These conditions can ultimately result in tooth loss if left untreated so be sure and visit us every six months to monitor these symptoms and treat them early.

Promoting Dental Health

If you or someone you know engages in chronic mouth-breathing, it is essential to address the issue for both medical and dental health reasons. At your check-ups, we provide thorough dental exams to monitor for such issues. If discovered, we can refer you to appropriate providers such as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. We can guide you in the best hygiene and preventative measures to keep your teeth strong such as fluorides or salivary replacements. In cases of malocclusion, we can provide an orthodontic consultation to see if we can help realign the teeth and jaws.

Schedule Your Next Dental Visit Today

Open-mouth breathing can have far-reaching consequences on both the airway and dental health. If you have noticed these symptoms, contact our Sunny Smiles location on N Zaragoza Rd in El Paso, TX at (915) 849-9000.