I wanted to share some interesting information from a study that was published in one of my dental journals recently. It discussed upper airway obstruction, or mouth breathing and the affects it can have on patients, especially children.
Children whose mouth breathing goes untreated over time may suffer from abnormal facial and dental development, such as long narrow faces and mouths, gummy smiles, gingivitis, crooked teeth and many other unattractive facial features. Due to their obstructed airways these children do not sleep well at night which can adversely affect their growth and academic performance. This can often lead to a misdiagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity.
The majority of health care professionals are unaware of the negative impact of mouth breathing. Dentists may be in the best position to screen patients who suffer from the affects of mouth breathing since patients are seen on a regular basis. Treatment is available and especially if done early can reduce or eliminate the many medical and social problems that mouth breathing can cause.