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Mouth-breathing epidemic

Mouth-breathing epidemic

Breathing is the ‘new black’ and there has been a spate of articles on the topic in the last few months. This article by Sydney GP, Dr Suzan Berkir is a beauty, and she is not overstating it to say that mouth breathing and its hazards are now at epidemic levels in young children. As the article says, mouth breathing risks children developing:

  • craniofacial growth abnormalities
  • dental and orthodontic problems
  • poor posture
  • reduced exercise capacity
  • sleep disordered breathing
  • fatigue
  • worsening of asthma
  • dry mouth,
  • reduced saliva and halitosis
  • academic performance well below potential
Mouth-breathing in children

Chicken or egg?

A misconception included in the article incorrectly suggests that allergic rhinitis and adenoidal hypertrophy commonly cause mouth breathing. In fact, the opposite is true. Dysfunctional breathing and mouth breathing are usually the cause of these issues. Interventions including breathing training, identifying drivers and nutritional support should be undertaken before recourse to medications or surgery. 

Read more about Adenoids here »

Support from a good nutritionist and dental clinics that specialise in early intervention orthodontics and orofacial myology is also integral to helping develop good breathing habits.  

Tongue tie

Tongue Tie

Tongue tie might also be a factor in breathing issues. A closed mouth and tongue resting in the roof of the mouth are essential for correct craniofacial development. A tongue tie can limit tongue mobility and contribute to the mouth-breathing problem. 

How to test for a tongue tie? Ask your child to open wide and then ask them to touch the tip if their tongue to the roof of the mouth, keeping mouth wide open. If they struggle to do this they may have a short frenulum. The same dentists that specialise in early intervention orthodontics can also assess your child for possible tongue tie.

The nose is for breathing and smelling. The mouth is for eating, drinking and talking.

Girl sleeping peacefully

Healthy children are nose breathers by day and by night. If your child is a habitual mouth breather, we can help. Book in for an initial consultation. Correcting this habit at an early age might just be one of the best investments you can make in their long-term health. And considering the potential impacts on craniofacial development and teeth, may also save a small fortune in orthodontic work in their teens.

 Phone our clinic on 09-360 6291 to book an initial consultation or book online here

More information about our private consultations »

Read the full article by Dr Suzan Berkir »

Posted: Wed 13 Nov 2019


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Helping people with breathing disorders since 2001

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