Dental & Mouth Breathing Issues

There is an increasing awareness in the dental profession of the importance of avoiding mouth breathing at an early age for the proper development of healthy teeth and jaws.

Children who learn Buteyko Breathing from an early age and change from mouth breathing some of all of the time to correct nasal breathing may experience the following results.

  • put their tongue in the roof of their mouth
  • develop their jaws properly
  • make room for their teeth
  • reduce nasal congestion and sinusitis
  • improve sleep quality
  • reduce snoring and sleep apnoea
  • decrease the need for nightly toilet visits
  • decrease asthma symptoms & need for medication
  • increase stamina and energy levels

Children who mouth-breathe are more prone to enlarged adenoids/tonsils, glue-ear, respiratory infections, asthma, allergies and chronic cough. If the incorrect breathing habits are not corrected, it can lead to crooked teeth, receding chin, protruding nose, narrow airway and a high risk of developing obstructive sleep apnoea, respiratory disorders and cardiovascular risk as adults.

Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Breathing

Chronic mouth breathing has long been seen as a concern by dentists and orthodontists. Some of the problems it causes or contributes to are listed below:

  • Forward head posture (neck muscle pain, stiffness, fatigue and cervical joint damage)
  • Headache
  • Elongated face
  • Malocclusion, anterior open bite
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • Gum disease
  • Reduced dental arch space and increased crowding of teeth
  • Dental decay and infection
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Dry lips
  • Increased allergen/infection entry to lungs
  • Chronic tonsil swelling
  • Enlarged adenoids, polyps
  • Gums shown when smiling
  • Noisy breathing
  • Noisy eating
  • Bad breath
  • Snoring, apnoea
  • Greater potential for relapse of orthodontic correction
  • Increased mucus production
  • Hypocapnia
  • Dark circles under the eyes “allergic shiners”
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Frequent respiratory infections (colds, ear infections, sinusitis)

Stopping Mouth Breathing

By learning to correct breathing patterns with Buteyko Breathing, an individual can prevent many of these problems occurring and in some cases they can begin to be reversed (age dependent). So if you would like to learn to breathe correctly, contact us for more information today.

A high percentage of adult clients on Buteyko courses with sleep apnoea confirm they were often mouth breathing in childhood. Many will have had teeth extracted in their teens. Early intervention for children with the establishment of good breathing habits can help avoid more invasive dental treatments such as teeth extraction and braces in their teens and later years.

Further benefits of Buteyko Breathing for Tongue Position and Facial Development

The teeth sit in a neutral position between the cheeks and the tongue. During nasal breathing the tongue rests in the roof of the mouth. The tongue exerts outward pressure ensuring wide dental arches and straight teeth. Lips and cheeks provide a counter force to the tongue.

During mouth breathing the tongue drops to the floor of the mouth and the cheeks then exert force on the teeth causing constriction of the maxilla (upper jaw) resulting in a narrow crowded jaw and crooked teeth.

Many dentists now recommend early intervention to avoid these and more serious disorders like obstructive sleep apnoea. Breathing re-training is an essential part of the treatment plan.

Buteyko Health & Breathing specialises in managing dental-related disorders including snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea, narrow airways, and adenoid enlargement. By helping to correct the bad habit of open-mouth breathing and dry gums, the programme also assists in improving dental hygiene reducing periodontal disease, dental caries and halitosis.

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