Dr. Rebecca Taylor of Green City Dental in Edmonds, WA, has shared tips on how parents can identify mouth breathing in their children in a new blog post. In the article titled, “Is Your Child a Mouth Breather? How to Tell, Why to Worry, & What To Do,” she explains why this is an issue that parents should worry about and explores the dental options available. She points out that while mouth breathing may have many causes, it can have serious effects because nasal breathing is said to contribute to proper orofacial development and function. In contrast, mouth breathing may lead to abnormalities in the bone, underdeveloped jaws, and misaligned and crooked teeth. They might also develop gum disease, chronic bad breath, Candida infections, and more.
Dr. Taylor explains, “It has been observed that children diagnosed with mouth breathing are often pale, apathetic, lack concentration, and frequently get tired. The lack of oxygen, or hypoxy, may be the reason why many of these children have sleep disturbances, such as nocturia, frequent waking up and difficulty in falling asleep.”
Other common problems that have been found to be related to mouth breathing and its effects include frequent headaches, poor concentration, bedwetting, and below average school performance. Also, children who mouth breathe are often misdiagnosed to have ADHD.
Dr. Taylor explains that the first step that parents can take is to determine whether the mouth breathing is just a bad habit or there is an underlying issue like an allergy or an obstructed airway. For some children, it may just be a habit. For example, for children who were bottle-fed instead of breastfed, mouth breathing may feel natural. This may also be the case for those kids who used a pacifier or had a thumbsucking habit. Mouth breathing as a habit in children can be remedied by Buteyko breathing exercises or myofunctional therapy. Myofunctional therapy is a type of physical therapy for the muscles of the mouth and face that can help in the development of proper breathing and swallowing habits.
If it is found that nasal congestion is the reason why children are mouth breathing, it is advisable for the parent to have their kids checked for allergies. Nose clearing may be a good practice for these children to improve or restore nasal breathing. Meanwhile, some children may have difficulty breathing through their nose because of enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Sometimes, it may be due to an underdeveloped airway.
Being a holistic dentist, Dr. Taylor does not just offer general dental services but other related services such as sleep apnea treatment. Sleep apnea may be caused by a misaligned jaw, a tissue obstruction, or a collapsing tongue. This disorder may be treated with an oral appliance that gently moves the lower jaw and tongue forward, providing more room in the back of the mouth so that there is less chance of having an obstruction when asleep. This oral appliance may be able to help a lot with mild or moderate sleep apnea.
For more severe cases, a MicrO2 appliance may be required. Each appliance is custom made by utilizing the latest CAD-CAM technology. This ensures a comfortable fit, allowing the patient to have a good night’s sleep. This appliance is biocompatible, lightweight but durable, and removable. For other situations, a Vivos appliance may be recommended. This device works by actually remodeling the airway to make it easier to breathe freely and consistently while asleep.
Aside from oral appliances, Green City Dental may also offer Nightlase to treat sleep apnea. This is a proven laser treatment that can widen the airway through the tightening of the soft tissues at the top of the airway by renaturing and restructuring collagen.
Those who are interested in the services provided by Green City Dental can check out their website, or contact them on the phone or through email. They may also want to take a look at the previous press releases about Green City Dental, including Dr. Taylor’s use of the pinhole technique for treating gum recession.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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