Mouth Breathing in Children: Risks and Treatment
Mouth Breathing : Taking care of our teeth and overall health is important. Did you know that having straight teeth makes it easier to keep them clean? This can lead to healthier teeth, gums, and even benefit other parts of our body.
However, there is an aspect of oral health that is often overlooked – mouth breathing.
Connection Between Mouth Breathing & Oral Health
In children, there is a strong link between breathing and oral health. Proper breathing plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy teeth, gums, and overall well-being.
When children breathe through their nose, it helps keep their oral cavity clean and promotes optimal development of the jaw and facial structures.
On the other hand, chronic mouth breathing can lead to dental and skeletal malformations, such as misaligned teeth and an elongated face. Identifying and addressing mouth breathing early on is important for preserving oral health and promoting proper breathing habits in children
Understanding Mouth Breathing
Many orthodontic problems, such as misaligned teeth, jaw issues, and bone growth complications, are connected to breathing difficulties.
These abnormalities can make it harder to breathe through the nose, leading to chronic mouth breathing.
Over time, this can result in sleep apnea, sleep disorders, and long-term health problems.
Identifying Mouth Breathing
Let’s help our friends recognize if they are mouth breathers. Just like other habits, mouth breathing is often subconscious. Look out for these signs to determine if you or someone you know may have this problem:
- Dry mouth
- Bad breath
- Feeling tired and irritable upon waking up
Remember, these symptoms indicate a potential issue, but it’s important to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Orthodontic Diagnosis of The Issue
Similar to other conditions, at Center for Dental Implants & Esthetics an orthodontist will conduct tests to determine if mouth breathing is the cause. Some signs they may look for include:
- The way your lips seal
- An open bite
- A high narrow palate
- Gingivitis (gum inflammation)
Orthodontists may also perform tests like the graded mirror test, water retention test, or lip seal test to gather more information.
Impact of Breathing Through Mouth
Parents may wonder why it matters if their child breathes through the mouth or nose. After all, breathing is breathing, right?
Unfortunately, chronic mouth breathing can lead to dental and skeletal problems in growing children. These issues include excessive molar eruption, abnormal jaw position, and the elongation of the face.
Additionally, mouth breathing can cause a lower tongue posture, leading to an improperly developed upper jaw and narrowed nostrils.
Some experts even believe that mouth breathing can contribute to behavioral problems in school-age children, as it disrupts sleep and affects concentration.
The Role of Orthodontics in Treatment
Orthodontics plays a significant role in treating mouth breathing in children. With their specialized knowledge and expertise, orthodontists can effectively address the underlying causes of mouth breathing and provide appropriate interventions.
Orthodontic treatment focuses on correcting dental and facial abnormalities that contribute to mouth breathing. By utilizing various techniques and appliances, such as expanders or braces, orthodontists can help widen the jaw, improve nasal airflow, and encourage proper tongue posture. These interventions help redirect the breathing pattern from the mouth to the nose, promoting healthier breathing habits in children.
Early intervention is key in orthodontic treatment for mouth breathing. Orthodontists recommend evaluating children as young as 7 years old to identify any existing issues. By detecting and addressing mouth breathing at an early stage, orthodontists can prevent further complications and guide proper facial development.
The goal of orthodontic treatment for mouth breathing is to not only alleviate the immediate symptoms but also prevent long-term health problems.
By correcting dental and skeletal abnormalities, orthodontics helps improve nasal breathing, reduce the risk of sleep-related disorders, and enhance overall well-being in children. Through a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to each child’s specific needs, orthodontics plays a vital role in restoring proper breathing function and ensuring a healthy future.
In the End
Mouth breathing can have a significant impact on our oral health and overall well-being. Understanding its effects and seeking early intervention from an orthodontist can make a positive difference.
By addressing mouth breathing, we can promote healthier breathing habits, proper development, and long-term oral health.
Dr. Jyoti Singh (MDS), Diplomate WICO (Japan region) stands as a beacon of excellence in implantology within Delhi NCR region. She is a BDS and MDS(Prostho) both from Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, where she secured top honors with all India rank 1 in PG entrance examination. Her extensive experience at esteemed institutions like Clove Dental and her own Center for Dental Implants & Esthetics since 2016, Dr. Singh embodies unparalleled expertise in dental implants. Boasting a wealth of 16 years in dentistry and backed by 18 groundbreaking research papers in leading international journals (Google Scholar) and her ResearchGate profile, she epitomizes the pinnacle of proficiency and innovation in her field. She practices in Gurugram as your friendly dentist near me.