Home / My Blog / Dental Problems And Mouth Breathing

Can dental problems be connected to mouth breathing? Well, mouth breathing is a topic that comes up a lot in my practice, and this is reflected on my YouTube channel, and of course, on this website.

As a myofunctional therapist, mouth breathing is something that I have to pay a lot of attention to. It falls under my Four Goals of Myofunctional Therapy – I work with all my patients to make sure that their mouth is closed day and night, except when they’re talking or exercising hard.

The reason for this is that mouth breathing is an abnormal state and it definitely has negative health consequences. This is true even if it only happens at night. When you breathe through the nose the way nature intended, it’s far easier to reach and maintain a state of overall good health.

dental problems

I’ve covered this extensively in the past but the connection between mouth breathing and dental problems isn’t something I’ve gone into in a lot of detail.

Mouth Breathing Is Linked To Dental Problems

Bad breath, cavities, recession, and gum disease can all be connected to breathing through the mouth.

At the most fundamental level, mouth breathing as a child can affect the growth and development of the face, jaw and skull, leading to crowded teeth and malocclusion. This is a perfect recipe for dental problems in future.

Even as an adult, breathing through the mouth can lead to oral issues. This is because mouth breathing can upset the delicately balanced oral microbiome.

The human mouth is basically a rich ecosystem, populated by millions of bacteria. Normally, the levels of these bacteria are in balance and don’t cause any problems at all. But when the oral environment changes, by breathing through the mouth for example, the oral membranes can dry out and saliva production can decrease. Once this happens, the levels of certain bacteria can rise, leading directly to bad breath as a start.

Saliva plays an important role in balancing out the oral microbiome. It neutralizes acid and helps to wash away bacteria. Without the correct levels of saliva, the chance for tooth decay and cavities will increase.

As seen in this study, a dry mouth can also change oral pH levels. Teeth start to lose minerals when pH drops too low. This in turn makes them more vulnerable to acid-producing bacteria leading to erosion of enamel and the formation of caries. These bacteria will thrive when saliva production is reduced. Even if you’re really careful with oral hygiene, and brush and floss regularly, you’re fighting an uneven battle trying to brush away an underlying health problem.

So we’re dealing with a vicious cycle, and it’ll be very difficult to change this situation as long as mouth breathing is still a factor.

Other Health Problems Can Be Linked To A Dry Mouth

A dry mouth is also connected with gum disease, which is a serious health concern. Gum disease or periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that can lead to bone and tooth loss. Research has shown that because gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, it can even lead to more serious health issues such as heart disease and other systemic diseases such as osteoporosis, respiratory problems and cancer.

All this is why myofunctional therapists like myself are so focused on returning our patients to a natural state of breathing, with the lips closed all day and all night. When this happens, there’s a good chance to bring the oral microbiome back into balance and reduce the occurrence of dental problems.

I go cover mouth breathing and dental problems in this video. I hope you enjoy it.

 
 

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