Otolaryngology (ENT)/Head and Neck Surgery
- Why Choose Us?
- Ear Conditions & Treatment
- Nose Conditions & Treatment
- Throat Conditions & Treatment
- Head/Neck Conditions & Treatment
- Pediatric ENT Conditions & Treatment
- Facial Surgery
- When to Make an Appointment
Mouth breathing is sometimes a necessary function, particularly when a respiratory infection closes the nasal passages with drainage However, consistent or chronic mouth breathing, especially in children, is linked to slower growth, behavioral issues, dental and facial abnormalities.
Benefits of nasal breathing
When you breath through your nose, the hairs lining your nose serve as a first line of defense, filtering particles and pathogens from the air you breath.
Taking air in through the nose warms and humidifies it, good conditions for respiratory health. The nose also produces nitric oxide, a stimulant of the cardiovascular and immune symptoms. Nitric oxide is picked up and transported through your body by breathing through the nose.
Causes of mouth breathing
It is not likely that a child who chronically breathes through their mouth makes a conscious decision to do so. Common causes of mouth breathing include:
- Nasal blockages causes by cold, flu or allergies.
- Deviated septum or the cartilage divider between the nostrils is abnormal making it difficult to breath through the nose.
- Sleep apnea caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils that indicate the collapse of soft tissue in the throat. Other symptoms may include snoring, coughing or breathing interruptions while your child is sleeping.
If you notice your child is consistently or chronically mouth-breathing, schedule an appointment with our ENT specialists to help diagnose and treat any underlying causes. Treatment options can include:
- Breathing retraining and proper tongue posture.
- Management of allergies or infections that may be causing nasal blockages.
- Surgery to remove the physical obstruction like a deviated septum, or enlarged adenoids or tonsils.