Mouth Breathing: Let’s Talk About It
The dreaded mouth breathing that leaves your mouth dry in the morning or even worse, a sore throat. When our bodies are asleep, there are two air passageways to the lungs that help us breathe, the nose and the mouth.
Typically, individuals use both while sleeping, but we know that isn’t the case for everyone. That’s when mouth breathing comes into play. What is mouth breathing and what causes it? Let’s get into it.
The Causes of Mouth Breathing
The underlying cause of most cases of mouth breathing is an obstructed nasal airway.
This means that there is something that is preventing the air into the nose. If your nose is blocked, the body will then resort to having your mouth be the supplier of oxygen.
There are many reasons why the nasal cavity could be blocked, these reasons may include:
- Nasal Congestion (caused by allergies or sinus infection)
- Enlarged Adenoids
- Deviated Septum
- Enlarged Tonsils
- Jaw Shape and Alignment
For some people with sleep apnea, it may become a habit to sleep with their mouths open to accommodate their need for oxygen.
Are There Risks to Mouth Breathing?
Breathing through your mouth can dry out your gums, which can lead to gum disease or tooth decay from the change in bacteria in your mouth.
Anyone can develop the habit of breathing through their mouth, but certain conditions increase your risk. These risks can include:
- Chronic Sinus Infections
- Stress and Anxiety
How to Prevent Mouth Breathing
Chronic mouth breathing caused by the shape of your face or nose can’t always be prevented. But, there are ways to prevent mouth breathing if it is not caused by genetic or facial features.
In the case of nasal congestion, if you find that you are frequently getting respiratory infections or allergies causing congestion, there are some actions that you can take to prevent mouth breathing. These tips can include:
- Use Saline Mist/Spray During Long Flights or Car Rides
- Using Saline Nasal Mist/Spray or Allergy Medications When Developing a Cold or Allergy
- Sleep on Your Back with Head Elevated
- Keep House Clean and Free of Allergens
Still Having Problems? Call Your Doctor
Have you had a complication from mouth breathing that needs the help of an oral surgeon? If so, contact us today at Rockwall Oral Surgery to schedule an appointment. To contact our team or learn more about us, please reach out to us at (469) 264-8921 or leave a message online to schedule your consultation today!