Why Does The Dentist Care About How I Breathe?
There has been a lot of media coverage in recent years regarding how the health of your mouth affects the health of the rest of your body. As your Family Dentists in Farmington, CT, we want you to know that if you are a parent of younger children, one of those connections you should be aware of is mouth breathing.
Breathing through the mouth is sometimes necessary. If you have a cold with a stuffy, congested nose you certainly have no other option! Mouth breathing can become a problem, however, if it becomes chronic and it can be a particular problem for children as they are growing and developing.
You have a nose for a reason and that reason is to breathe. When air is brought into the nose it is cleaned, moistened, and accelerated in a way that improves your body’s uptake of oxygen. When you breathe through your mouth you actually get less oxygen in the body. There are other things that happen when you breathe through your mouth that are a bit more intuitive, such as dry lips, dry mouth, and an increased risk of getting sick. There’s one side effect of mouth breathing that may not be so obvious, however, and that is the position of the tongue. Mouth breathing contributes to the development of low tongue posture.
Low tongue posture? What is that?
Simply put, it’s when your tongue rests down with your lower teeth in the floor of your mouth. If resting properly, the tongue would be just behind the front teeth on the roof of the mouth. Without the sideways and forward pressure of the tongue, the upper jaw becomes narrower and shorter and this results in the lower jaw becoming narrower and shorter too. Narrow, short jaws lead to crooked teeth and cross-bites. All of this also leads to altered facial development and results in thin lips and a long, narrow face.
When found early enough, the habit of mouth breathing can be overcome, and its negative side effects can be reversed. Myofunctional orthodontics aims at re-establishing nasal breathing in mouth breathers and it also trains proper tongue posture and proper cheek and lip movements. By doing this, teeth straighten without braces. Check out these three cases where the teeth magically got straighter as nasal breathing, proper tongue posture, and proper lip and cheek habits were formed.
These children are now growing and developing in the right directions and to their greatest genetic potential. They may not ever need braces!
Farmington Village Dental Associates has been offering this type of treatment for many years and we have seen great results from it. We would be happy to talk to you about this more! Contact us today to ask more questions or to schedule a consultation.
Yours in excellent dental health, Monique Nadeau, Family Dentist in Farmington