What are the signs and causes of mouth breathing?
How can mouth breathing affect children’s teeth?
“Mouth breathing can particularly affect the growing face,” said Dr. Teertha Karnakar, specialist orthodontist, “and these alterations will occur in the muscles associated with the face, tongue and the neck.”
According to our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Dr. Obada Barry, mouth breathing throughout the growth stage can cause “specific craniofacial changes including narrow palate (due to missing pressure of tongue on palate), vertical increase (lengthening of lower face) and retruded jaw (1,5). Dental malocclusions are also observed, mainly posterior crossbite and anterior open bite, leading to absence of lip competence (1,3,5).”
Can mouth breathing potentially lead to more serious complications?
Dr. Obada Barry also explains that “mouth breathing bypasses the protective function of the nose and sensitization to inhaled allergens is increased. This may increase asthma morbidity (2).”
Who can diagnose and treat mouth breathing?
- Pacheco MCT et al. Craniofacial changes and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in healthy children). Dental Press J Orthod. 2015;20(3):80-7
- Yumi I et al. Mouth breathing, another risk factor for asthma: the Nagahama Study. Allergy 2016; Mar 17 [Epub ahead of print]
- Juliano ML et al. Mouth breathing children have cephalometric patterns similar to those of adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Arg Neuropsiquiatr 2009;67(3B):860-5
- Surtel A et al. The influence of breathing mode on the oral cavity. Pol Merkur Lekarski 2015;39(234):405-7
- Harari D et al. The effect of mouth breathing versus nasal breathing on dentofacial and craniofacial development in orthodontic patients. Laryngoscope 2010;120(10):2089-93