San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Chronic mouth breathing has been linked to causing poor growth and development of children, and it can affect their behavior, health, and even academic or athletic performance. While occasional mouth breathing such as during a cold is typically fine, chronic mouth breathing can pose a serious concern for your child. Here is what the Bay Area myofunctional therapists at Glen Park Dental want you to know about the effects of chronic mouth breathing.
The problem with chronic mouth breathing
Mouth breathing can affect a child’s development, completing altering how their facial structure grows. This means that they could develop an unfavorable appearance with a long, narrow face. Oral health concerns such as crooked, gapped, or protruding teeth are often a result of chronic mouth breathing. Also, children who are mouth breathers tend not to sleep well at night, as their airway is much narrower than a child that nasal breathes.
These problems can quickly manifest into behavioral issues that mimic that of ADD or ADHD. You may notice that your child seems to be struggling in school, or has a disinterest in their favorite activities as a result of chronic mouth breathing.
Why nasal breathing is best
Chronic mouth breathing means that the body is not receiving proper amounts of oxygen, which is necessary for growth and the health of our bodies. Low oxygen levels can lead to a higher risk of cardiac failures, and high blood pressure. Research has even linked mouth breathing to sleep breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea.
Nasal breathing, however, is best because it allows the right amount of oxygen to be delivered throughout the body. Plus, nasal breathing will help you sleep better, and feel more rested and alert throughout the day. Nasal breathing may be difficult for someone who has poor oral and facial development, which is why early diagnosis and treatment is key.
Diagnosing Mouth Breathing Disorders
Of course, one of the most obvious signs of mouth breathing is to simply watch your child while he or she breathes. You will notice right away if chronic mouth breathing occurs. However, early diagnosis is important for your child’s growth and development, which is why interceding during the early years is crucial.
Dental checkups and examinations are essential, even for babies. Not only does the American Dental Association recommend these visits as part of maintaining optimal oral health, but also to allow the dentist an opportunity to identify issues when they first appear, which makes correcting the problem much easier.
If, however, your child is older and in the adolescence stage, the dentist can still help your child who mouth breathes by re-training their oral and facial muscles through a serious of painless exercises known as myofunctional therapy. These specially designed exercises can help stop mouth breathing and encourage breathing through the nose. It is truly phenomenal to see how these exercises can significantly change a child’s appearance and health, all without the need for extensive treatments.
However, the most important factor to remember is that the earlier we correct this problem, the better. While a child is growing and developing is the ideal time to retrain their oral muscles using myofunctional therapy.
Myofunctional Therapy in San Francisco
To learn more about proper breathing habits or to schedule a consultation for myofunctional therapy, please contact Glen Park Dental by calling (415) 585-1500 to schedule a consultation.
Glen Park Dental provides comprehensive, compassionate, quality oral health care for patients in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.