Do you find it hard to breathe through your nose?Chances are that you are a mouth breather?Do you have nasal allergies and suffer frequent attacks of cough and flu?Do you suffer from asthma?Have you been told that you snore?You are a mouth breather!
So, whats wrong with that?
Normal breathing is done through the nose.The nose has hair to remove dust ,and mucus to kill viruses and bacteria that may be in the air one is breathing in.It’s also narrow so that what you inhale is warmed before reaching the lungs.
When one breathes through the mouth,they inhale dirty unfiltered cold air, irritating the throat and lungs, leading to infections,allergies and inflammation of the airway leading to further actual blockage of the airway as the body tries to cope with the habit of mouth breathing.
Mucus will now settle at the back of the throat to try and do the same job of stopping the bad guys (bacteria and viruses).Guess what happens next!Bad breath because of this thick mucus plug that when broken down gives off an unpleasant smell.The person affected is also always clearing their throat.
This is not cute,this is sleep disordered breathing
Mouth breathing is a habit that starts in child hood and may be due to other habits like thumb sucking,or use of pacifiers or even feeding with a bottle while sleeping!
This forces the tongue to lie in the lower jaw and fall back to block the throat.This will start the journey to all health problems you can mention since the open mouth is unable to filter dirty air or keep out germs.
Usually kids with such issues meet the dentist for the first time when their permanent teeth erupt and suddenly cause the parents to worry because of crooked teeth with no space for alignment.
Now that we know the root cause of the crooked teeth is the habits,we are not quick to fix the teeth without addressing the underlying issues.The professional advice in the past was to wait until age 12 to consider braces but now we can start treatment early to correct the bad habits and the teeth will get in line.
If your child is frequently getting coughs and flu,has an open mouth all the time ,finds it difficult to wake up in the morning, is sleepy during day,frequently wets the bed,has difficulty concentrating on a task ,say in class,has unexplained headaches in the morning,has bad breath or grinds their teeth while sleeping,chances are that they will get crooked teeth but there is good news because the mouth breathing habit can be corrected and child will get back their health. and a good smile too.
Adults with such a problem too have a solution but it may take longer and involves serious lifestyle changes that only those that appreciate the danger they are in are willing to take on.