Nasal Breathing 101

mouth breathingMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Breathing, it may seem like something simple, a no-brainer if you will, but it’s not. Many people are “mouth breathers,” which means they are breathing incorrectly, and it is affecting their oral health and their body. Nasal breathing helps keep your oral health in check and promotes optimal overall health.

Why are you a mouth breather?

People often breath through their mouth during bouts of congestion or as a result of allergies. However, some mouth breathers do so because of their anatomy such as a tongue-tie or lip-tie, deviated septum, or other myofunctional disorders of the mouth or face. Frequent and ongoing mouth breathing is where the problem lies. Here are the health risks associated with regularly breathing through your mouth.

Imbalance in the body’s pH

Mouth breathing changes the pH levels in the blood, which means in your saliva too. Low pH levels in the mouth, in which high acidity is present, increases the risk of tooth decay.  An acidic pH promotes acidophilic and acidogenic bacteria to buildup on your teeth, instead of healthy biofilm that offers your teeth protection.

Dry mouth promotes tooth decay

Mouth breathing inevitably dries out the mouth and decreases the production of saliva. In turn, teeth are more susceptible to decay and periodontal disease. Even people who take certain medications that result in dry mouth, bear the same risk.

How can I stop mouth breathing?

If you mouth breath as a result of a myofunctional disorder, then myofunctional therapy may help by retraining your oral muscles to function in a way that promotes nasal breathing and proper mouth posture. Some patients may experience relief by wearing a specially designed oral orthotic to help hold their jaw into alignment while they sleep, opening the airway to facilitate nasal breathing.

If your teeth have begun to suffer from the effects of mouth breathing, the dentist can develop a specialized treatment plan to restore your teeth. For severe cases, such as enlarged soft tissue of the airway, patients may need surgery to allow nasal breathing.

To schedule an appointment, please contact Miami Designer Smiles today at (305) 595-4616. We welcome patients in Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.