Your mouth is always dry, and you experience an upset tummy more than the other members of the household. Oftentimes, you wake up with a headache, which makes you grumpy and affects everyone’s mood at the breakfast table. Just last week, you had to take antibiotics for an airway infection. But you haven’t been exposed to someone who is ill, and you’re making healthy dietary choices. Don’t be surprised when an ENT doctor consultation in Denver reveals the cause of all these: mouth breathing.
You may not know it, but it turns out you are a mouth breather. Your family knows it, and it’s the main reason you never get a really good night’s sleep.
How mouth breathing takes a toll on your health
It’s a good thing that you are leading a healthy lifestyle; otherwise, you’d be in deep trouble by now. Eventually, if mouth breathing persists, you can start making poor choices because your sleep suffers and you get up more and more often at night. As you get older, the headaches could worsen. Your lips would dry up, your nose would be filled up with nasty stuff, and the worsening snoring would drive everyone at home crazy. Mouth breathing may seem like a small thing, but in time, it will affect your ability to concentrate and drain your energy like a pump. Your mood will deteriorate, and your studies or work output might suffer significantly.
When the nose is not working properly
Admit it—you probably already know that you breathe through your mouth in your sleep. It’s probably because of persistent nasal congestion or an obstruction, which an ENT could examine and identify.
The main reason a person breathes through the mouth is that the nose is not equipped for it. Normally, human beings breathe through the nose. The nasal passages are specially designed to facilitate the flow of air. There are even special features that warm the air so that sensitive lung tissue will not receive the shock of cold and dry air. Moreover, the nose has structural provisions to filter the air and remove particles before it proceeds to the lungs.
The mouth is not intended for breathing. When you breathe through the mouth, there’s something unusual or problematic about your nasal passages.
Is it a habit or something else?
Some people are chronic nose breathers—a habit that started in childhood. For some people, structural or alignment features of the jaw or teeth do not allow for the mouth to close during sleep. The problem may also be in the anatomy of the nose. Doctors often discover a deviated nasal septum, which makes breathing through the nose difficult for the person. If the problem is in the bony parts of the nose, it may be impossible for the person to breathe other than through the mouth. Some children have tonsils that are larger than normal and have been identified as a factor for their habitual mouth breathing.
There are a number of possibilities. Do not make possibly false assumptions. If mouth breathing is starting to take a toll on your health, make an appointment with a doctor. Nip the problem at the bud, and take deep, satisfying breaths with your mouth closed.