Miami and Coral Gables, FL
Another long day is coming to an end, and your child has been in bed for several hours. If you check on your child during the night, do you ever pay attention to the way he or she breathes? If your child regularly breathes through the mouth when asleep, this behavior could have a major negative impact on the way your child sleeps, learns, and even change the way their face grows and develops. Your family dentists in Miami at Miami Designer Smiles want to educate patients on the potential negative effects of mouth breathing.
Breathing through the nose is recommended
Ideally, a person should breathe as follows: through the nose, with the lips closed in a tight seal. When you breathe in this manner, your body actually is able to absorb a higher quantity of oxygen. Nitric oxide production also increases, which limits the overall presence of bacteria in your blood. Breathing through the nose is made easier by finding, or maintaining, the ideal oral rest posture, which should consist of having the lips closed, the teeth closed, and the tongue resting comfortably against the roof of the mouth.
When you breathe through the mouth, you actually gulp air. This creates a surplus of air in the system and makes for an inefficient absorption of oxygen. The consequences of mouth breathing include increased growth of malignant tumors, the proliferation of existing cases of sinusitis, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and the spread of skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. Snoring is a common habit of people who breathe through the mouth when they sleep, and snoring also is the major warning sign of a sleep breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea—a serious condition that can cause chronic fatigue during the day and poor performance in school. In children, mouth breathing significantly impacts how your child’s dental arch forms, as well as the structure and profile of their face.
Mouth breathing can change the appearance of your child
When you breathe through the mouth, it tautens the muscles of the cheek and places additional, excessive force on the jaws. These excessive forces can be especially harmful for a child whose face and mouth still are developing, narrowing the dental arches and the face. This can result in a longer, more narrow facial structure, and be yet another reason your child could be predisposed to a sleep breathing disorder such as sleep apnea.
Be aware of the warning signs of mouth breathing
Snoring at night is one obvious indicator of mouth breathing, or a problem with your child’s airway. Other common symptoms of mouth breathing include more frequent allergy flares, problems with focusing and comprehending, regularly tossing and turning during the night, and chronic sinus problems. If you are identifying any combination of these symptoms in your child, make an appointment with your Miami family dentist.
Treating mouth breathing in Miami
Your Miami family dentists Dr. Raul Garcia and Dr. Conchi Sanchez-Garcia have been studying the phenomenon of mouth breathing, its potential negative effects, and how to treat for the behavior for years now. We can correct this behavior through a course of myofunctional therapy—which means performing a series of simple, relatively painless exercises working the tongue, in conjunction with muscles of the mouth. Performed regularly over several months, the exercises during a course of myofunctional therapy help achieve the ideal oral resting posture, encouraging the recommended means of breathing through the nose.
Are you concerned your child is regularly breathing through the mouth? Learn more about how Miami Designer Smiles uses myofunctional therapy to treat this behavior by calling our office at (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation.
Miami Designer Smiles serves the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables, Florida.