According to studies, mouth breathing during sleep may be caused by a blockage in the upper airway, which includes the nose and throat. The blockage, which causes mouth breathing, may be brought on by a stuffy nose, an allergic reaction, or a more severe ailment.
If mouth breathing is not managed, it may hurt long-term health. It frequently serves as a sign of airway obstruction.
You’re more likely to notice mouth breathing in your child while sleeping. In other cases, it could be a regular habit even when they’re awake. Regardless of when it happens, mouth breathing is a risk for young and developing brains.
Causes of Mouth Breathing in Babies
The jaw is a major contributing factor to mouth breathing. Your child’s jaw should ideally be wide and U-shaped. However, smaller jaws are now quite prevalent, which causes overcrowding of teeth and crooked smiles.
Additionally, they cause overbites with a loose mouth and bites that appear out of place. The result is a high and narrow palate due to V-shaped jaws. These jaws can also cause blocked nasal passages, which might result in the following:
Snoring is not typical for children; thus, your youngster shouldn’t snore as they sleep. Your baby’s upper airway is blocked in some way if they have sleep apnea. Adenoids or swollen tonsils may be to blame. Snoring can also accompany coughing, breathing pauses, choking, and restlessness.
When your child’s nose is stuffy or blocked with mucus, they may breathe through their mouth out of necessity.
A significantly deviated septum is one of the anatomical conditions that frequently cause mouth breathing. This indicates aberrant alignments of the cartilage and bone that separate your baby’s nostrils from one another. Your child will experience breathing issues, forcing them to breathe through their mouth.
Your child is also at risk of mouth breathing if:
They Stop Breastfeeding Before They Are Three Months Old
It frequently happens for newborns to self-wean or stop nursing early. But even one feeding a day can lessen the likelihood that your youngster will frequently breathe through their mouth.
In addition to encouraging nose breathing, breastfeeding makes the child’s mouth, and tongue muscles work. The child’s palate pressure also stimulates the jaw’s bone growth, resulting in the widening of the jaw. The airway becomes more open as a result.
They Have a Tongue Tie
Your infant will have problems latching and breastfeeding properly if their tongue frenulum is tight. This may eventually result in difficulties speaking, swallowing, and eating in some situations. A tongue tie also delays orofacial development, which may result in nighttime partial airway obstruction.
Thumb-Sucking and Prolonged Use of Pacifiers
Your child’s thumb or pacifier sucking puts pressure on the palate, which forces the jaw to remain narrow.
Tonsils that are inflamed and swollen might partially block the airways. Your child will start breathing through their mouth while they are asleep as a result.
Your child may experience breathing problems from untreated allergies, forcing them to breathe through their mouth.
Signs That Your Child Breathes Through the Mouth
It is a clue that your child has this illness if they frequently breathe through their mouth while sleeping.
Other indications include:
- Snoring loudly
- Mouth breathing when awake
- Grinding their teeth while asleep
- Snorting when they cry
- Silent breathing
- Having problems with concentration or behavior at school
Health Complications of Mouth Breathing
For better health, everyone should breathe through their nose. Toxins are filtered out of the air as it travels through the nasal passage. Additionally, it enters the lungs at the correct pressure, which aids in oxygen absorption and nitric acid release for healthy circulation.
Fewer pollutants are filtered when your child breathes via their mouth, which might restrict circulation. This affects how oxygen is distributed throughout the body, which affects your child’s welfare by causing:
Oral health issues like dry mouth lower saliva and allow bacteria to stick to the teeth for longer. This raises the possibility of tooth decay and gingivitis.
- General health issues include allergies, allergies, and high blood pressure
- Orthodontic issues brought on by underdeveloped jaws and crowded teeth
- Poor facial development
- Speech problems because of the forward thrusting of the tongue
- Sleep disorders like apnea and snoring.
Treating Mouth Breathing
Make a dental visit for your child if you see symptoms of mouth breathing in them. You will be referred to a different specialist for a correct diagnosis and course of therapy.
The choices consist of the following:
- Teach your youngster to breathe through their nose using breathing exercises and the correct tongue position.
- Treatment of infections, allergies, and thumb sucking.
- Having the physical impediment, such as adenoids, a deviated septum, a tongue knot, or enormous tonsils, surgically removed.