Breathing is essentially the most important thing you can do. It is actually one of the major functions of the body. But have you ever heard how mouth breathing causes problems?
While we do need to take in air properly so that our body can function well. This is because you need plenty of oxygen to keep the system going well for a long time.
During ‘normal’ breathing, what happens is that your abdomen is going to be expanding and contracting as you inhale and exhale.
It is a simple process which happens on it own. You don’t need to do much about it. No extra effort is needed from your end to make it happen.
The major thing is that you are breathing and the mechanism is simply happening through your nose.
But what about mouth breathing and how is this not a regular practice?
Some people may be breathing through their mouths. The major difference you will be seeing is that your breathing is not stable. In fact it can be loud and audible. And you will be having some visible moving of the chest.
So how is this not normal?
In this article I want to share all the details pertaining to mouth breathing.
Let’s get on with it:
What is Mouth Breathing?
So this basically means instead of the normal way of breathing, which is through the nose, you are using your mouth to take in air and take it out.
While some people may be occasionally breathing through their mouths and that is okay, when this becomes a habit, it becomes a problem.
Such as those who are doing so every time they sleep might be having a condition known as sleep apnea. This suggest nasal concerns and complications.
Chronic mouth breathing defines there are some serious implications to your breathing like that.
It can even have some adverse effects on your long-term health, leading to stress concerns. In most cases, it is best that you get a medical intervention to sort this problem.
Three Types of Mouth Breathing
So when we talk of mouth breathing, there are generally three ways in which it happens. Let’s see what they are:
Obstructive– this is when it associates with adenoids. It is the patch of tissue which is coming high up on your throat and is right behind the nose. In some cases, it is also because of you having a deviated septum which leads to nasal cavity.
Habitual-in this form what happens is that you are involved in what we call over-breathing. And it is because of how an individual’s mouth is actually bigger than the two nostrils. Having this structure can lead to even more pressure and burden on the respiratory system.
Anatomic-the third kind is actually a sign of deformity. This means that the airway passage is completely blocked. It can cause you to have very abnormal breathing. Along with having what we can postural concerns. This is the most complicated kind.
Now let’s see what are the major symptoms of this condition.
Symptoms of Mouth Breathing
So when you are breathing through the mouth and not your nose, it suggests that there may be something seriously wrong.
People who are breathing through the mouth are those who have certain symptoms also. These are signs that this is not normal kind of breathing.
They will be including:
- Snoring– it is quite common for a person to continuously snore as they sleep through the night.
- Dry mouth is also common. When you are continuously sleeping with your mouth open, the condition of forming a dry mouth is quite possible.
- Bad breath comes on as a natural side effect. And with time, this will continue to get worse.
- Hoarseness sets into your voice and it becomes a common condition which will with time get even worse if treatment isn’t done.
- In most cases, you will sense chronic fatigue taking over and making you feel sicker and drained more than usual.
- Brain fog is also common. This is when you are lacking mental focus and clarity and tend to forget things easily.
- In some cases, dark circles formation also becomes common. They are signs that show tiredness. When you are mouth breathing, you are not getting quality sleep and this implies that.
- It is also possible that those who are not getting a good sleep and have dry mouths will be drinking caffeine and having other other beverages’ to make up for the dry throats and the inactive lifestyle
What about symptoms in children?
Mouth breathing in Children
So this is a condition which can easily happen in children too. So you need to look out for the signs of the same.
A child who is mouth breathing may not be able to share about their condition well. So the parents and adults should look at the signs in them too.
Children who are breathing through their mouths will most likely have the following symptoms:
- Their growth rate is slower than what a normal rate should be
- They have a high sense of irritability
- In most cases, they have really strong crying episodes through the night
- Large tonsils are very common in children who have difficulty breathing through their noses
- Many children may be suffering from dry and cracked lips which get worse with time
- They don’t get quality sleep so this means they will not be able to concentrate in school well
- They will show moods of anger and indifference so you need to keep a lookout on their sleeping patterns
- Daytime sleepiness can take over easily, making them crankier than usual
So why is this happening? Let’s look at mouth breathing causes.
Mouth Breathing Causes
There can be a range of reasons why someone will be going through this condition.
While the temporary ones can be nasal congestion due to colds and flu, there can be other complicated and chronic reasons for it too.
For instance a person’s nasal airway is obstructed which is causing this problem.
When that happens our body automatically triggers the response of breathing through the mouth so to give oxygen to the body.
There are several other causes and risk factors associating to it and includes:
- Having severe allergies which makes it harder for you to breath through the nose.
- Asthma is a leading reason. As it gets severe, you have to breath through the mouth.
- Chronic colds can make you severely sick.
- A deviated nasal septum is also a leading concern which makes your health vulnerable and you sick.
- Having enlarged tonsils and adenoids usually relates to a person suffering from mouth breathing
- In case you hold a long history of thumb sucking or even finger sucking, this can spell as you having mouth breathing issues
- Sinus polps is yet one of the other another leading mouth breathing causes
- In some cases, having birth abnormalities can suggest and lead to issues of cleft palate, as well as choanal atresia and even pierre robin syndrome
All of these are leading reasons as to why a person may be going through this condition. It is not the case that one person may be having it for the very same reason as other.
Mouth breathing causes are different and varied. You need to have yourself checked by a doctor to be sure why it is happening in you before getting effective treatment.
So what can you do to prevent it?
Prevention and Treatment of Mouth Breathing
Here are simple tactics that can really help you.
In some cases due to allergies and congestion issues, you can try the following:
- Make use of a saline mist when going on long flights
- It is best to always have nasal sprays and nasal decongestants with you
- Sleeping with your head slightly elevated helps in opening the airways to make you breath properly
- You should aim to keep your house clean
- It also should not be having any allergens and should be free from it
- In case you have high levels of stress, make sure you are doing yoga to keep yourself happy and active
- These breathing exercises really help in the long run
- Also in some cases, the issue is having extra weight. So if you are able to shed those extra pounds, you will notice quality of sleep in no time.
- And yes, it really helps if you are keeping your nose clean so that it is not completely blocked from impurities and is making you sick.
This article was a complete overview and an understanding on mouth breathing. It is basically a condition in which you cannot easily breath through the nose.
It points towards certain complications and can make you sick.
In this article I shared in detail what it means to have this condition, what are the leading mouth breathing causes, identifying its symptoms in children and adults.
Also we looked into what are the leading prevention tactics to adapt and how its treatment is going to make things better.