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Problems Associated With Mouth Breathing In Children


SLEEP AND OXYGEN: When children breathe through their mouths during the day chances are they are also doing so at night. Mouth breathing at night is directly connected to altered levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood stream. When less oxygen is able to reach the brain, learning and the ability to focus at school becomes a problem for many children. 


SLEEP APNEA/ SNORING: Mouth breathing is linked to sleep apnea, and snoring/loud breathing which can causes children to wake frequently or stay in a state of arousals' at night and wake up exhausted the next day. Children who habitually breathe through their mouth are also more likely to suffer from sleep apnea as adults. 


ADHA/ADD(Attention Deficit Disorder): Research has found half of children with ADHD show symptoms of sleep disordered breathing, compared to 22 percent of children without ADHD. Research also indicates that 20-30 percent of people with ADHD also have obstructive sleep apnea. Disrupted sleep can reduce the time spent in deep restorative sleep. Lack of REM sleep may reduce the children's ability to pay attention and concentrate at school, which may be mistaken for ADHD. 


FACIAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT: A child with a constantly open mouth will very likely grow into an adult with a flatter facial profile, less prominent cheekbones, a longer face, droopier eyes, low facial muscle tone, a narrow palate, and even a smaller lower jaw. 


TEETH: Under normal conditions, saliva continuously washes bacteria from the oral cavity. If the mouth is constantly dry from mouth breathing, bacteria will overgrow and cause, decay and periodontal disease. 


SPEECH AND SWALLOWING: Speech is affected by an open mouth as a child may also have a tongue thrust swallow pattern. This type of swallowing pattern causes the tongue to protrude or push forward during speaking and swallowing.

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