Mouth breathing is a common condition that affects millions of Americans, especially children. Unfortunately, it has acquired a certain social stigma over the years, largely due to portrayals in popular media. In this post, we’re going to clear the air about this topic. Use this information along with the advice of your dentist in Melbourne to make informed healthcare choices for yourself and your family.
Is Mouth Breathing Something to Be Concerned About?
Oxygen is one of the key essentials for life, along with food, water, clothing and shelter. It’s so important that our bodies have a built-in backup system for getting air to our lungs – namely, the mouth and throat. This bonus benefit from Mother Nature can play a life-saving role when our sinuses are too clogged to permit free breathing.
Inhaling through the mouth is never the best way to breathe, however. Here are three reasons why
- Your nasal passages are lined with tiny hairs called cilia, which help to filter out airborne contaminants like dust particles. This means that air inhaled through your nostrils is cleaner and healthier than air taken in through your mouth.
- Air filters in and out of your lungs more slowly when you breathe through your nose than when you breathe through your mouth. This allows your system to extract the maximum amount of oxygen from every breath you take.
- Inhaling and exhaling through your mouth robs your body of moisture it needs to stay properly hydrated. Most health experts agree that cool, moist air is healthier for you than hot, dry air.
- Breathing through the mouth is especially problematic when we’re asleep. That’s because the throat passages can easily become blocked while we’re resting. If this happens, then the consequences can include sleep apnea, a dangerous and sometimes life-threatening condition.
Why Some People Breathe through Their Mouth
Since nasal breathing is better for you, then why do some people habitually breathe through their mouth? The most common reasons are chronic sinus congestion and airway blockage caused by a high, narrow palate. Fortunately, there are ways to correct this condition. Here are some ways that your family dentist in Melbourne may be able to help:
- Examine the affected person’s mouth and airway structure to diagnose the cause of the problem.
- Authorize a sleep study. A team of sleep specialists will monitor the patient’s breathing habits during rest. This will determine whether or not the patient’s breath patterns post a potential threat to his or her health.
- Prescribe a solution for the problem. Sometimes the only thing needed to correct the condition is a nasal decongestant. Other times, the patient may require a nighttime mouthguard, CPAP device, or corrective surgery to the palate.
Mouth breathing is no cause for shame or embarrassment. But it is a sign that something may require medical attention. Make an appointment with your dentist or other healthcare professional to have the problem checked out. That way, you’ll have the peace of mind you need in order to make 2019 your best year ever.
About the Author
Dr. Beverly Rose has been practicing dentistry in the Melbourne area for more than 20 years. She isa graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry and a proud member of the American Dental Association (ADA). You can reach her office online or by calling (321)259-4666.