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Mouth breathing in children is very common and while a kid with open mouth might seem cute, it is not always the case. The parents need to be made aware that a child breathing through the mouth all the time is not normal and it is high time they find a way to manage it.
A little understanding of the effects of the mouth breathing habit on the child's health in general and oral health in particular can be an eye-opener for the parent. For an educated person, there are obvious symptoms, which indicate that the child is a mouth-breather.
These symptoms include:
- Dryness of the lips
- Crowding of the front teeth
- Sleeping with the mouth open
- Recurrent infections of the airways including sinusitis and middle ear infections
- Bad breath
Common causes include:
- Chronic nasal obstruction/congestion because of which the child is not able to get enough oxygen through the nose.
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Thumb or finger-sucking habit
- Recurrent respiratory infections
Effects of mouth breathing on oral health:
Mouth breathing may seem like a harmless habit, but has serious effects on the oral and dental health of the child. Some of them are discussed below.
- Dry mouth: A constantly open mouth can lead to drying up of the saliva. This in turn leads to reduced effects of saliva including the flushing effect on the bacteria and the food deposits. This leads to increased chances of tooth decay and gum diseases.
- Tooth decay: With reduced saliva, the pH remains acidic for a longer period of time, leading to increased chances of tooth decay.
- Gum diseases: Reduced amounts of saliva also leads to increased gum disease and periodontal disease as the bacteria are not removed and have a conducive environment to act upon.
- Facial development: A mouth breathing child maintains a different posture than a nose breather. This leads to a narrow and long face, flattened nose, smaller nostrils, reduced facial tone, thin upper lip, pouty upper lip, and a small lower jaw.
- Speech: An open mouth causes the tongue to thrust into the palate when talking. This leads to altered pronunciation of some sounds; especially and can cause lisping.
- Braces: Mouth breathing causes multiple challenges including prolonged treatment period, inability to close the gaps, reduced stability of the realigned teeth, and increased chances of relapse. The added complication of increased gum disease and tooth decay makes it worse. The habit needs to be corrected first before going in for braces.
If that sounds like a long list, they are not all inclusive. Early intervention in the habit can correct and negate all these effects. Talk to your dentist to know how to help your mouth breathing child.
I have developed a little ulcer near the leukoplakia area under the right side of my tongue. Will it automatically disappear and can be automatically cured if can leave smoking?
Hi, am 36, sugar patient with thyroid. Taking 100 MCG. My problem is for past few days i am having dry throat and mouth. Constant thirst is there, my mouth is also producing bad smell. This is for the first time am facing such a problem. Please help!
I'm 19 year old. I a small white patch on my teeth since childhood. My whole teeth is yellow colour only that patch is in white. I brush my teeth twice daily. Yet they are yellow in colour. please suggest what can I do for white teeth at home.
I need to have a tooth implant in place of a milk tooth, I want to inquire about the procedure and budget.
I have white patch on my tongue. When I eat some spicy food. It irritates. It was a small patch initially but later with time it spread and occupied a portion of tongue. What did you suggest in this condition. Can it be a fungal infection?
I am having the mouth ulcer for around 1 week every month. As per my family doctor, a done course of 30 days of B-Complex tablets. But the problem is still there. What should I do.
One of my teeth has become rotten. I suffer from toothache once a week. Should I uproot the particular tooth or refill it with something.
Sir mere teeth thoda bahr nikla he itna ki hsne pr vo accha nhi dikhta aur kuch jyada bahr a jata he jo ki accha nhi lgta. Use andr krne k lie kya kre.
The toothbrush is an important usable cleaning instrument, which we use regularly. Most people start their morning with the use of a toothbrush. It is not confirmed when the first toothbrush was invented, however it is supposed that around 3000 BC the first toothbrush came up in the form of a chew stick, which was used by ancient civilians. It was in the shape of a slim stick with a frayed end. Another early form of toothbrush was the bristle toothbrush. It was similar to what we use today, but this toothbrush was made up of solid hog's hairs connected to a handle made of bamboo or bone. The nylon-bristled toothbrush was introduced in 1938, and was rapidly accepted due to its good oral hygiene quality.
A revolution came in the market of America with the origin of electric toothbrushes in 1960. These toothbrushes were sold and produced on a mass level throughout the country.
Initially, the electronic toothbrush along with charger was invented in 1939 in Switzerland, but it did not come out in the open market until 1960. It was in 1961 when the company 'General Electric' came up with the rechargeable cordless toothbrush. The first rotary toothbrush, called the 'Interplak' became available to the general public in 1987. It was available in different models and varieties. It was believed that the Interplak was capable to eliminate plaque, and could prevent gingival bleeding better than other manual toothbrushes.
Nowadays, a number of varieties of toothbrushes can be found in the market at a large scale. Toothbrushes are used with fluoride for cleaning. Generally, dentists recommend the use of soft toothbrushes because hard toothbrushes can cause damage to your teeth. Soft bristles are also considered good at eliminating plaque and debris from the teeth. Besides this, dentists recommend the use of a small-handled toothbrush, as it can reach easily at each and every corner of your mouth. Toothbrushes are generally made of synthetic materials.
As there is such a wide variety of toothbrushes available today, this can create confusion for you when buying. Therefore it is necessary to consider that what kind of toothbrush will best suit your teeth. As an alternative, you can also use a powered toothbrush for cleaning your teeth, especially if you experience difficulties during brushing. You should replace your toothbrush within three months.
It is important that you are using a good quality toothbrush and changing it frequently. Undoubtedly, you would not like to have any diseases in your teeth, so by brushing regularly you can maintain healthy teeth as well as an attractive smile.