Wednesday, August 3, 2016

10 Good Reasons to Stop Mouth Breathing NOW

Become a Better Breather

Is your child a mouth breather?

If normal nasal breathing is not possible, the body must resort to mouth breathing. If you’ve ever had a stuffy nose due to a cold or allergies, temporary mouth breathing may have been the only option.

When mouth breathing becomes habitual, however, the muscles of the face and mouth do not function properly. Underdeveloped oral muscles begin to cause problems. 

The effects of prolonged mouth breathing range from inconvenient to serious. Here are 10 good reasons to stop mouth breathing NOW:

1.  Problems with speech and breathing- sounds are incorrectly produced or misarticulated; the size of nasal passages are changed; decreased oxygen intake is common

2.  Difficulties with chewing and swallowing- biting and tearing food is difficult because of the forward position of the teeth; abnormal swallowing patterns are likely

3.  Undesirable appearance- many people find an open mouth posture less attractive and less socially acceptable 

4.  Abnormal facial and dental development- teeth protrude, palate is high & narrow, lower jaw is recessed; the shape of the face (jaw, tongue, nose, cheeks) may be permanently changed

5.  Cavities and gum disease- all that air is bad for your teeth; the pH of saliva elevates and causes cavities

6.  Chronic fatigue due to poor sleep- mouth breathing is associated with snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

7.  Poor physical growth-  delays of skeletal growth are apparent

8.  Postural problems and spinal issues-  an open mouth is commonly associated with a slumped posture; abnormal curvature of the spine and altered shoulder posture results; problems are also typically seen in hips, knees and feet 

9.  Weak academic performance- a chronic lack of oxygen and poor sleep yields diminished concentration for learning and behavior issues at school

10. Interference with the results of orthodontic treatment- braces may solve the problem but they do not fix the problem...if mouth breathing persists, the teeth will shift back

Without a doubt, mouth breathing is a habit that must be changed because of its serious, lifelong effects.  Correction of a mouth breathing habit takes time, practice and skilled intervention. Talk to your medical or dental professional to see if a consultation with a speech-language pathologist is in order. When properly trained, healthcare professionals, like speech pathologists, can use myofunctional therapy to correct open mouth postures that lead to mouth breathing.  

Using myofunctional therapy, clients can strengthen and retrain oral muscles so that nasal breathing becomes natural and habitual. By making a commitment, in a few short months, you can improve your appearance, health and quality of life by becoming a better breather. 

Breathing and thinking are the two most important processes- one for sustaining life and the other for giving it purpose.
Tasneem Hameed