How does mouth breathing affect teeth? First of all, let’s define mouth breathers. Mouth breathers are people who breath through their mouth rather than through their nose.
The cause of your child’s mouth breathing can be sucking thumbs, fingers, bottles and toys. Another cause is congested sinuses or issues with adenoids.
Mouth breathing causes the tongue to be in a lower downward position, instead of sitting up on the palate. During growth the tongue actually shapes the palate; therefore it is important that the tongue sits in the correct place.
Children who are mouth breathers typically have a narrow upper jaw, they can often drool and have low muscle tone in all orofacial muscles. This position prevents the lower jaw from growing forward, so it stays in a backward position.
Furthermore mouth breathing is not healthy because it allows unfiltered air into your lungs, which causes more infections, sore throats and even bronchitis. When breathing through your nose, the air is filtered and the air temperature reaches 37degrees before it is inhaled into your lungs.
Mouth breathing can be corrected by visiting a qualified orthodontist.
Look out for the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists when choosing an orthodontist. Only orthodontists have the knowledge and training to advise on the full range of orthodontic options and treatment.