Mouth Breathing and Your Dental Health


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Mouth breathing is something that some people are more prone to, but, most of us don’t even realize we’re doing it — breathing is one of our most intrinsic and non-voluntary processes, so if you do tend to breathe through your mouth, someone else may likely point it out.

At Dr. Martin J. Schwartz in Gramercy Park, it’s important to know all about the nuances of our dental habits, to improve our dental health. Learn more about how mouth breathing impacts your dental health.


Do you notice your breathing? Are you a mouth breather?

The good news is, while some chronically breathe through their mouths, we all have been mouth breathers at some point in our lives. From being sick and unable to breathe through our noses to seasonal allergies that leave us stuffy and miserable.

  • People who chronically breathe through their mouths may do so because of underlying health concerns including:
  • Upper respiratory issues (COPD, asthma, etc.)
  • Chronic allergies, sinus issues, and colds
  • Deviated septum
  • Polyps or cysts in the sinus or throat
  • Inflammation in the tonsils or adenoids
  • Poor jaw and tooth development (thumb-sucking behaviors)
  • Cleft lip and palate or other abnormal facial development concerns

The causes of mouth breathing are quite diverse, but does it really play a role in your dental health? Yes, mouth breathing has some potential adverse side effects.

Mouth Breathing and Dry Mouth

One of the biggest adverse effects of breathing through your mouth is dry mouth — the saliva you produce is constantly drying up. Our mouths need saliva because not only is it basic and helps to neutralize highly acidic plaque, but it also helps fend off cavities.

Mouth breathing can also lead to gum disease and chronic bad breath as a result of dry mouth and impacted saliva production.

Mouth breathing, over time, can dry out your mouth and gums which disrupts the natural bacteria in your mouth that we all need. Many of the first signs that may indicate you’re breathing through your mouth will most likely be symptoms of dry mouth, bad breath, and increased tooth decay.

Not only can mouth breathing impact your oral health, but, if left unchecked, it can impact a number of health conditions including:

  • Speech difficulties and speech impediments
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Increased occurrences of asthma 
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  •  Treatment Options For Mouth Breathing

Treating mouth breathing can be as simple as investing in a better pillow that props your head up and can support your jaw at night or reminding yourself to close your mouth when you’re exercising — most people have the ability to breathe through their noses, they just need to actively do it!

If you’re breathing through your mouth as a result of structural issues, you may need one or a combination of the following treatments:

  • Jaw surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Deviated septum correction
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Removal of tonsils and adenoids 

The Value of Routine Dental Care in Gramercy Park

Routine dental care has never been more important to your dental health, and seeing your local Gramercy Park dentist every six months can help identify if you are a mouth breather and diagnose what kind of treatment you may need. In addition, they can help prevent future tooth decay and help treat gum issues and bad breath that are often associated with breathing through your mouth.

As always, it’s vital to brush and floss regularly — every single day! Remember to drink plenty of water to keep dry mouth at bay and eat healthy foods that combat tooth decay.

For more information on the dental services we provide or to schedule an appointment at our Gramercy Park dental office, connect with us today!





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