Often times the parents of our patients are totally unaware that their child is breathing through his or her mouth. Many parents do not understand or underestimate the significance of mouth breathing and how it relates to the growth of the face and mouth. Even moderate mouth breathing causes an elongated face characterized by narrowness of the entire face and dental arches. The result of these narrow jaws is often severe crowding where one or more permanent teeth are said to be “impacted”. Other problems that may arise are a gummy smile line, gums that are puffy, red and irritated or teeth that overlap in front.
Some of the signs of mouth breathing are apparent lips apart posture, a chin pucker when lips are closed, dry lips, frequent licking of lips, snoring , excessive thirst, drooling or labored breathing when asked to nose breath with lips tightly closed. The most common causes of mouth breathing are allergies, large tonsils or adenoids, narrow or obstructed airway passages such as you would have with a deviated septum.
Dr. Wiley will be able to confirm if your child is a mouth breather in their new patient consultation. She will also modify your child’s future growth back to a more normal growth pattern. This is usually done with appliances that stimulate the growth did not occur. Dr. Wiley will most likely stress the importance of following up with an ear, nose and throat specialist. For any further questions, call to set up a complimentary consultation today!