Dental Blog

Four Potential Risks of Mouth Breathing

Know a Mouth Breather/Are One? Learn the Facts.

Ever encounter a “mouth breather”? Or better yet, are you a mouth breather yourself?

Habitually breathing out of the mouth may not seem like a threat to one’s health – however, there are certainly some problems that can occur as a result.

Regularly breathing out of the mouth instead of through the nose can create the following issues:

  • An increased risk of infection of the sinus/ear or common cold or flu
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia) and dry, cracked lips
  • Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
  • In children, it may lead to a reduced concentration of oxygen in the blood, facial deformities and a lower quality of sleep.

Perhaps the most common concern of mouth breathing mentioned above is its ability to create a dry mouth. Our Milton dentist stresses that, in order for our mouths to be in a healthy state, they need to be moist with enough saliva, for one. Saliva contains dental-friendly minerals and is the mouth’s natural defense against tooth decay (although not total protection, it definitely aids in preserving our teeth). Having a dry mouth can also dramatically increase one’s risk for gum disease.

What causes mouth breathing?

Mouth breathing is often caused by chronic nasal obstruction (CNO), a condition that occurs when the nasal passages are blocked due to an infection like the cold or flu, allergies or even nasal polyps. In this case, breathing from the mouth then becomes necessary to obtain oxygen – however once the airway has been cleared and breathing through the nose is possible again, some people have already gotten into the habit of mouth breathing.

It’s important to make regular appointments (every 6 months or when necessary) with the dentist to ensure that no oral health issues are present, such as a potential mouth breathing problem or any issues it can lead to.

If it’s been longer than you’d like to admit since you or your child has been to the dentist’s, call our office today!

Three causes of bad breath

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