Mouth Breathing and How it Affects Your Health

Mouth Breathing and How it Affects Your Health

June 26, 2019

In addition to the less than stellar visual statement it makes (the caveman look hasn’t been appealing since the Stone Ages), mouth breathing can also have negative effects on your health.

These include:

  • Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of mouth breathing. In normal conditions, saliva washes bacteria from the mouth. When your mouth is dry, that bacteria can remain and also cause problems like cavities.
  • Bad breath can often result from the drying of the oral cavity.
  • Digestive problems. Excessive mouth breathing can lead to a condition called aerophagia, in which air regularly passes from the stomach into the small intestine causing abdominal bloating, intestinal pain and excessive burping and belching.
  • Lack of sleep. Mouth breathing can cause people to wake in their sleep if they aren’t getting enough oxygen. For children, this may result in a lack of focus at school that is diagnosed as ADD. For adults, mouth breathing can be related to sleep apnea which causes you to wake up frequently at night and be tired the next day.
  • A decrease in blood oxygen. When you take oxygen in through your nose, it passes over mucous membrane and into sinuses- producing nitric oxide which your body needs for your heart and blood vessels. Therefore, when you are not breathing through your nose, your blood isn’t always getting the oxygen it needs to function the way it should.
  • Dental issues. Breathing through your mouth at night dries out your soft tissue and may cause chronically red and inflamed gums and potentially bleeding gums.
  • An altered appearance. Children who breathe through the mouth may actually develop what is called long face syndrome, in which their face becomes permanently long and narrow. Or the mouth breathing may promote the growth of their upper jaw, resulting in a large overbite and gummy smile.

Cures for mouth breathing:

Mouth breathing typically results from a nasal obstruction. In some cases, the nasal issue is due to a cold- meaning the condition will go away on its own when the cold is gone. However, for many people, mouth breathing can be a chronic condition due to allergies, sinusitis or nasal structure.

At Palm Beach Sleep and Sinus we assess the entirety of your condition and develop a comprehensive plan to treat it. While prescription medicine may provide some relief, another option is our BreatheNaked procedure. This proprietary surgery, developed by Dr. Agrama to repair nasal obstruction, is offered to his patients while they are comfortable and awake in his office.

After administering a local anesthetic into the soft tissues inside of each nostril, Dr. Agrama makes a small incision from the top to the side of each nostril between the two cartilage plates of the nasal alar valve. He opens a small pocket between the upper and lower cartilages, then sews them together with dissolvable stitches, cinching the nostrils open.

Since the surgery occurs inside the nostril, there are no cuts or scars on the outside of the nose or face. And, unlike traditional surgeries, there is no placement of permanent implants, plastic stents, or cartilage grafts. This means minimal change to the appearance of the nose and no packing or stents to block breathing.

In the following two months, a scar forms between the two cartilages that reinforces their strength. The nostrils remain open and less floppy while retaining their natural shape.

By strengthening the cartilage on the inside of the nostril (called the nasal alar valve or nasal vestibule), BreatheNaked is able to produce a permanent “breathe strip” effect. Whereas your nostrils would historically collapse with each breath you took, after the BreatheNaked procedure, your nostrils will remain open. This allows for clear, comfortable, more-exhilarating breathing throughout the day and while you sleep.

Mouth breathing doesn’t have to be a lifelong condition. Schedule an appointment to find out how to close your mouth and open yourself up to better health and happiness.