Breathing with Your Mouth Open Could Result in More Cavities
Posted on 4/10/2020 by Dr. Janice Pliszczak
Breathing is something we do that is automatic, we do not even have to think about it. Normally, people breathe through their nose and their mouth at the same time, this provides an even flow of air and requires less effort to take in oxygen. But what happens if you only breathe through your mouth? Can it actually have an effect on your oral health? We will be covering how mouth breathing can result in cavities
Mouth Breathing Results In Dryness
The most common reason why someone might breathe with only their mouth is nasal congestion such as when you have a stuffy nose during a cold. The first effect you might notice with mouth breathing is that your mouth can get extremely dry, especially after waking up after breathing through your mouth all night. This dryness in the mouth is actually the reason why cavities can form.
Cavities are formed by bacteria sticking to food that produce acid on your tooth that wears away your enamel and eventually dentin; the layer underneath the enamel. Your saliva helps wash away these bacteria as long there isn't stubborn food sticking around. The issue with a dry mouth is that it allows these bacteria to be free and easily hang around with nothing to stop it.
Now that we have gone over how mouth breathing has a negative effect on your oral health, it is important to try to find a solution. If the mouth breathing is due to nasal congestion, you can try a nasal spray and/or blowing your nose to clear the passage so air can get through.
On the other hand, if the mouth breathing is out of habit, then it may be time to consider a mouthguard or a jaw support to help keep your mouth closed. If you would like to check in on the health of your teeth, give us a call to schedule a check-up.