Sleeping with your mouth open is not something to take lightly. Not only is nighttime mouth breathing harmful to your overall health, but it might also indicate conditions like sleep apnea. Mouth is one of the air passageways to our lungs; our nose is the other air passageway we commonly use. Still, it can be risky to breathe through your mouth all the time. Know the symptoms, causes, risks, and remedies for mouth breathing in this blog.
What Causes Nighttime Breathing
When the nasal airway is blocked, entirely or partially, it can cause mouth breathing. So when your nose is blocked, or air cannot flow through it smoothly, you resort to mouth breathing. This is because your mouth is the only remaining source to provide your body with oxygen. Reasons why your nasal airway might be obstructed, include:
- Nasal congestion due to allergies, cold, or sinus infection
- Enlarged tonsils
- Enlarged adenoids
- Enlarged turbinates
- Deviated or severely uneven septum
- Nasal polyps; benign tissue growth in the lining of your nose
- Jaw size or shape
- Nose shape
- Sleep apnea
Mouth breathing becomes a habit for many people after the nasal obstruction clears. Moreover, sleep apnea patients might also turn towards sleeping with an open mouth to breathe sufficient oxygen.
Not to forget, tumors are rarely why you might be sleeping with an open mouth, but that is no reason to rule them out.
Signs You Might Be Sleeping with Your Mouth Open
Mouth breathing comes with many symptoms. Adults and children experience different indications that point to this condition. Some signs that you might be mouth breathing at night are:
- Dry mouth
- Bad breath
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Feeling tired and irritable after waking up
In children, parents must look for these symptoms of mouth breathing:
- Dry and cracked lips
- Crying at night a lot
- Feeling sleepy throughout the day or daytime sleepiness
- Slower growth rate than average
- Large tonsils
- Trouble concentrating at school
What Can Sleeping with Mouth Open Lead to?
Mouth breathing, whether at night or during the day, can be very drying. A dry mouth can lead to a bunch of problems. Oral health issues like bad breath, periodontal disease, and throat infections are also possible outcomes of mouth breathing.
When it comes to children, sleeping with an open mouth can actually result in physical abnormalities and affect their cognitive development. If neglected, mouth breathing at night might have the following consequences for children:
- Gummy smile
- Narrow mouth
- Teeth misalignment or dental malocclusion
- Poor posture
- Long or narrow face
Children might also get poor sleep due to nighttime mouth breathing. Consequently, poor sleep quality can cause sleep disorders and even affect their posture, academic performance, and concentration ability.
What to do?
Sleeping with your mouth open is not bad, but it also brings terrible consequences. If you suspect that you are breathing through your mouth, it might be time to drop by your oral healthcare provider. Our skilled staff at Dynamic Dental Solutions always looks forward to helping you with your oral health issues. You can give us a ring at (281) 837-9090.