When you have a stuffy nose as the result of a cold or other illness, it can be nearly impossible to breathe through it. Underlying issues with the nasal passage such as persistent allergies, overly large tonsils, or a deviated septum can also make it difficult to breathe through the nose. Additionally, certain bite alignment problems may make it difficult for people to close their mouths. All of these reasons may cause people to breathe through their mouths instead. Though this may seem harmless, it can have a negative impact on your oral health. Read on to learn about four ways that mouth breathing is bad for your smile.
#1: Dry Mouth
Breathing through your mouth can cause your gums and other tissues to dry out. This decreases saliva levels. Saliva plays a crucial part in keeping your mouth healthy by washing away food particles and harmful bacteria as well as neutralizing acids. If you aren’t producing enough saliva, this can raise your risk of oral health issues like tooth decay, chronic bad breath (halitosis), and gum disease.
#2: Lack of Energy
Though breathing through your mouth may seem like the best way to help you catch your breath after an intense workout, it keeps your body from getting as much oxygen as usual. This can result in lower energy levels and poor sleep quality. Mouth breathing may also make it hard for children to concentrate in school and can cause adults to see a dip in their work productivity.
#3: Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition in which one’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night. Loud snoring is another common characteristic of sleep apnea. Breathing through your mouth increases your risk of developing this sleep disorder. There are two kinds of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. They can affect people of any age and require prompt treatment to lessen your chances of high blood pressure, a stroke, diabetes, or a heart attack.
#4: Facial Deformities
Along with the above issues, breathing through your mouth can also cause the bones in your face to develop differently. This is because mouth breathing requires a change in posture to keep the airway open. This may result in flat features, drooping eyes, a narrow jaw, or a small chin. These facial deformities are more common in children who continuously breathe through their mouths.
Now that you know how mouth breathing can damage your oral and overall health, be sure to speak with your dentist or doctor if you struggle with this issue. They will work with you to come up with a solution so you can maintain a healthy body and smile!
About the Practice
A quality team of oral health professionals is key to maintaining a healthy smile. That’s where Washington Dental Associates comes in. Led by five talented dentists, they offer a range of oral health services to keep issues at bay and help you achieve the beautiful, brag-worthy pearly whites you’ve always wanted. Call Washington Dental Associates’ office at (201) 453-4863 or visit their website for more information on their services or to set up a consultation.