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The Dangers of Mouth Breathing

Research has shown that breathing through your mouth in your sleep can do a lot more than just annoy your spouse! There are quite a few physiological repercussions to mouth breathing in the night. But before we get into that, you first will want to identify if this issue is affecting you.

Are you mouth breathing in your sleep?

Here are a few telltale signs that you may be breathing through your mouth in the middle of the night:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Dry lips
  • Crowded teeth
  • Increased number of colds, sinus infections, and ear infections
  • Dry lips
  • Snoring and open mouth while sleeping
  • Crowded teeth

If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you may want to take a visit to Caputo Dental to determine if you are at risk for any of the following health issues.

What are the risks of mouth breathing?

Breathing through your mouth throughout the night can have a number of impacts on your oral health and even your entire body. Here are a few reasons to visit a dentist as soon as possible if you think you might be mouth breathing in your sleep.

  • Impacts Saliva Production: Air becomes moisturized when it goes through the sinuses, so when the majority of your air comes through your mouth, that process cannot happen. This can change the pH (acidity or basicity levels) in your entire body – including in your saliva. By making your saliva more acidic, it becomes corrosive to your teeth, dries out your mouth, and makes saliva production more difficult. This is a big problem, because saliva is incredibly important! Without it, we have no way to wash away the bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
  • Increased Risk of Gum Disease: Due to the absence of saliva to rinse away bacteria, dry mouth can unfortunately cause gum disease. Gum disease can be quite dangerous—if left untreated, it can lead to a number of illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, respiratory illnesses, and even troubles with labor.
  • Tooth Decay: Dry teeth are at high risk for decay. Breathing through the mouth can make the mouth become acidic, which leads to erosion of the enamel (or protective outer layer of your teeth). Once the enamel of your teeth has been destroyed, you cannot grow it back! So it is very important to stop any mouth breathing issues in their tracks!
  • Structural deformities in children: We are designed to breathe through our noses. So when young children breathe through their mouths, their posture changes to open these airways. This can cause developmental problems if left untreated, including causing the child’s face to grow long and narrow, the nose to become flat and small, and the lips to change shape. It can also create crooked teeth and gummy smiles.

How can Caputo Dental help?

In many cases, your dentist will be the first to identify the symptoms of mouth breathing. We can check for swollen tonsils, tooth decay, and gum infections or disease. We can treat these symptoms and help you to identify the source of the issue—creating a plan of action that helps you prevent the issue in the future!

If you think you could be mouth breathing in your sleep, contact our offices today to schedule an appointment!

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