MOUTH-BREATHING CAN cause all kinds of short-term problems, many of which are linked to poor sleep quality from getting inadequate oxygen by breathing through the mouth.

Short-Term Consequences of a Mouth-Breathing Habit

If a child displays the following signs, it could be due to mouth-breathing:

1.    Impaired talking. When a child’s mouth is constantly open, certain sounds become more problematic to say.

2.    Halitosis (chronic bad breath). An open mouth tends to be a dry mouth, which means there isn’t enough saliva to clean out the germs.

3.    Tooth decay. Other serious consequences of dry mouth are tooth decay and cavities.

4.    Irritability, lethargy, and inattention. Less oxygen means worse sleep, which makes it much harder for kids to pay attention in school and to be their bright, happy selves.

How Mouth-Breathing Impacts Health Long-Term

While the above issues are bad enough, the complications that come from mouth-breathing don’t stop there. If left unchecked throughout childhood, mouth-breathing can cause the following:

1.    Extended orthodontic treatment. Braces will take longer and there will be a higher chance of the teeth moving back to their pre-braces position.

2.    Changed facial structure. The bones in the face can actually develop differently because of mouth-breathing, resulting in flatter features, droopy eyes, a thin jaw, and a smaller chin.

3.    Sleep apnea. Mouth-breathing can increase a person’s risk for sleep apnea, a unsafe sleep disorder that makes it hard to get a restful night’s sleep.