Most mouth breathers do not even know they are one! There are many things you need to do to keep a healthy mouth such as brushing, flossing, but who knew avoiding a lot of breathing through your mouth is also one of them.
Breathing out of your mouth instead of your nose is sometimes caused by an underlying issue with your nasal passage. CNO or chronic nasal obstruction is why people breathe out of their mouth. Due to not enough oxygen getting into our lungs by breathing through our nose we resort to breathing through our mouth.
But what does mouth breathing have to do with oral health concerns? Breathing out of your mouth dries your mouth out and leads to a decrease in saliva. Saliva plays a very important role in getting rid of harmful bacteria and neutralizing acids in your mouth. Therefore, when not enough saliva is produced, your chance of tooth decay and other dangerous oral problems increase. Dry mouth can also lead to chronically bad breath, tooth decay and cavities. People with chronic dry mouth also have a higher risk of gum disease and gingivitis. Believe it or not gum disease also has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease.
Mouth breathing can also lead to allergies, poor sleep, lower oxygen count in the blood, crooked teeth, gummy smiles, headaches, sore throats, and more.
Signs to tell if you are a mouth breather:
- Dry lips
- Crowded teeth
- Snoring and open mouth while sleeping
- Increased number of airway infections including sinus, ear, colds
- Chronic bad breath
How to combat mouth breathing:
- Use saline nasal sprays, nasal decongestants or allergy reliever medications at the first sign of allergy or cold symptoms.
- Sleep on your back with your head elevated to open up the airways and promote nasal breathing.
- Keep your house clean and free of allergens.
- Install air filters in your heat and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to prevent the spread of allergens in your house
consciously practicing breathing through your nose during the day to help force yourself into a habit of nose breathing
If you are suffering from dry mouth and are ready to fix the problem, give Above & Beyond a call!