Are you snoring, have a dry mouth, and experience chronic fatigue? Then you may be breathing through your mouth. Some people don’t realize that they breathe through their mouths instead of their noses.
What causes mouth breathing?
A person may be a mouth breather for several reasons.
Kids who breathe through their mouths may do it as a result of a habit, their bite being off, or may have abnormally large tonsils that can obstruct breathing.
For adults, mouth breathing may happen due to their medication or damaged glands as a result of radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Why mouth breathing can be a problem?
An excessively dry mouth is one of the problems resulting from mouth breathing. Normally, the saliva continuously washes bacteria from the mouth. But when the mouth is too dry, it’s easier for the bacteria to take hold of the mouth and cause problems like cavities.
Mouth breathing in children can also cause problems. Mouth breathing may cause the growth of the upper jaw (rather than the lower jaw), which can result in an overbite and gummy smile.
Breathing through the mouth can also cause sleeping difficulties. This is why chronic fatigue is common in those who are doing it.
What can be done about mouth breathing?
Just like anything else, it’s important to understand the underlying cause of mouth breathing before certain interventions could be recommended.
If it’s due to abnormally large tonsils, then removing them might help. If it’s due to structural problems (e.g. child can’t close the flaps of his/her lips over front teeth), then orthodontic treatment may be sought.
If mouth breathing is a problem you’ve been struggling with for quite a while now, we can help. Greater Knoxville ENT has specialists who can help determine the cause of your mouth breathing. To request an appointment, you can call us at (865) 521-8050.