Breathing is an essential human function to sustain life and for normal growth and development. Just like plants need sunlight or water to grow. If a plant only receives sunlight from one direction, then the plant will only grow toward the sunlight, and this can result in abnormal plant growth. The same can be true for a growing child. If they can’t maintain a normal breathing pattern and only use his/her mouth instead of his/her nose, then oral problems can develop as a result.
Why Mouth Breathing Can Be an Issue
A growing patient can have orthodontic problems that can stem from mouth breathing. Here at myORTHODONTIST, our goal is to assist our patients with a healthy oral functioning system. Our orthodontic team is committed to the development of strong, properly aligned jaws and healthy breathing habits.
Mouth breathing can lead to many orthodontic problems. From underdevelopment of the maxilla, lateral and anterior crossbites, the abnormal growth pattern of the mandible leading to long face, low tongue, deviant swallowing, and even speech problems can arise from chronic mouth breathing problems.
Mouth breathing is a big orthodontic concern for us at myORTHODONTIST, especially in growing patients. If you want your child’s jaws to develop optimally, then nasal breathing plays a crucial part. Nasal breathing helps increase nitric oxide, which is essential in the body because it prevents inflammation, boosts the immune system, helps in releasing hormones and improves memory and learning.
Early identification of jaw, facial and breathing problems can help address orthodontic problems and adverse health concerns. Ideally, our doctors would like these issues identified as early as infancy. We are continuously doing screenings for these issues at myORTHODONTIST for new and expectant mothers. This helps with the education of the benefits of nursing, proper bottle feeding, addressing habits such as thumb sucking and using pacifiers.
Dr. Dhol notes in his IMPACT Magazine article, “a lot of adults dealing with issues like sleep apnea never had the opportunity to be identified early”. A holistic approach to assessing everything from facial muscles and airway structures is important to understand to prevent future problems from developing.