Mouth breathing might not seem like a big deal, but it can be detrimental to your oral health. To determine if you’re a mouth breather, keep an eye out for these common signs and symptoms:
- Dry mouth
- Bad breath
- Chapped lips
- Sinus and ear infections
Do you suspect you’re a mouth breather but you’re still not sure? Scheduling an appointment with your local cosmetic dentist in Billings, MT can help you determine if you are a mouth breather and find ways to treat the symptoms and oral health risks. Keep reading to learn more about the oral health risks and treatment options.
Health Risks of Mouth Breathing
Breathing through your mouth instead of your nose might not seem to be an issue at first, but mouth breathing can lead to quite a few health problems. Some of the most common side effects of mouth breathing include:
- Dry Mouth – If you breathe through your mouth instead of your sinuses, you’re limiting the amount of moisture in the air you inhale. As a result, most mouthbreathers experience excessive dry mouth. This dry mouth prevents saliva from washing bacteria out of your mouth, allowing bacteria to remain in your mouth and lead to problems like cavities, tooth decay, and gingivitis.
- Gum Disease – When harmful bacteria remains in your mouth, it can result in worse than just gingivitis which is an infection of the gums. If oral health problems like gingivitis go untreated, mouthbreathers can find themselves dealing with gum disease which can lead to other health problems such as respiratory illness, stroke, and heart disease.
- Skeletal Deformities – Because children are still growing, mouth breathing can lead to permanent skeletal deformities if untreated. Mouth breathing promotes the growth of the child’s upper jaw instead of the lower jaw.
- Jaw Strain – When breathing through your mouth, your jaw remains in an open position for extended periods. This mouth positioning can lead to strain on your jaw joints and impact the fit of your bite. If the jaw strain continues to get worse, the only way to fix it is through oral surgery or orthodontic treatment.
- Sleep Difficulties – Breathing through your mouth can make it difficult to get enough oxygen while sleeping, which can impact the quality of sleep you’re getting. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can find yourself feeling tired or struggling to concentrate during the day.
How to Treat the Effects of Mouth Breathing
If you’re a mouth breather, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re taking care of your oral health. Reduce the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other related issues by:
- Using a humidifier – As mentioned, one of the most common side effects of mouth breathing in dry mouth — which is the root of most oral health problems! It’s recommended that mouth breathers use a humidifier in their bedrooms while sleeping to help reduce mouth dryness and improve the moisture in the air.
- Drinking plenty of water – Along with using a humidifier, make sure you are staying hydrated throughout the day to promote a moisturized mouth. Staying hydrated will provide moisture and help minimize other symptoms of mouth breathing like chapped lips and chronic bad breath.
- Scheduling regular dentist visits – It can be hard to diagnose yourself as a mouth breather, and that’s where Dr. Taylor can help. Dentists are often the first to notice that someone is a mouth breather by recognizing the problems with a patient’s oral health, such as gum infections, tooth decay, and swollen tonsils. Dr. Taylor can provide solutions to relieve painful symptoms of mouth breathing and help you remedy your oral health.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Taylor
If you’re a mouth breather, proper oral hygiene is incredibly important to minimize the risk of problems like dry mouth, tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis. Dr. Taylor and his exceptional staff can help you find a way to relieve symptoms and provide a solution to help your mouth breathing moving forward. Contact Taylor Dental, the leading cosmetic dentist in Billings, MT, to schedule an appointment for general and cosmetic dental care. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health!