Symptoms, Complications, and Treatments for Mouth Breathing


Is it a problem to breathe through your mouth?

There are two passages of airways to your lungs when you breathe, through the nose and through the mouth. While breathing provides your body with the oxygen it requires, there are health conditions that prevent you from breathing properly, such as cold and allergies that cause nasal congestion. That is when breathing through the mouth becomes necessary to help a person get the oxygen it needs faster. 

Mouth breathing that is done regularly is not recommended to the problems it can lead to. Facial deformities, including crooked teeth, and poor growth can happen to children that constantly breath through the mouth. In adults, bad and gum disease is one of the effects mouth breathing can cause as well as worsening symptoms of other apparent illnesses. 

How do I know if I am mouth breathing?

When you are asleep, it can be tricky to identify whether you are mouth breathing instead of nose breathing. The following are symptoms that indicate mouth breathing:

  • Snoring
  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Waking up restless and grouchy
  • Constant fatigue
  • Lack of focus
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Meanwhile, some of the common symptoms of mouth breathing in children are:

  • Slow growth rate
  • Testiness
  • Having crying fits at night
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Lack of concentration
  • Daytime sleepiness

What are the complications of mouth breathing?

Mouth breathing habits can happen to anyone, but people with specific conditions, such as chronic allergies, hay fever, sinus infections, asthma and chronic anxiety -- have a higher risk. Breathing through your mouth is very drying which prohibits saliva to wash away bacteria from the mouth that overtime will lead to complications like bad breath, periodontal disease, and throat and ear infections. 

Having low oxygen in the blood may result in heart failure due to high blood pressure, a decrease in lung function, and worsen symptoms for people with asthma. Complications that are led by mouth breathing are physical abnormalities (long narrow face and mouth, dental malocclusion, poor posture) and cognitive challenges (poor growth, poor academic performance, lack of concentration, and sleep disorders). 

How to treat mouth breathing?

The cause of mouth breathing needs to be concluded before treatment. Mouth breathing that is caused by nasal congestion due to allergies and cold can be treated by nasal decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal sprays. A face-mask will mostly be recommended to treat obstructive sleep apnea while surgical removal of swollen tonsils can treat mouth breathing in children. Braces and other orthodontic treatments may help treat the elemental cause of mouth breathing. 

How to prevent mouth breathing?

Mouth breathing happens when a person is having breathing difficulties through the nose due to various reasons. Breathing troubles can be prevented by doing breathing exercises. One of them is using a breathing training device by WellO2

The WellO2’s steam breathing device helps open airways, strengthens respiratory muscles, cleans mucus from airways, moistens vocal cords, and alleviates airway irritation. Learn more about us here.