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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne & Monroe Counties Michigan

Mouth Breathing Can Indicate More Serious Problems

It is normal for people to breathe through their mouth during intense exercise or heavy lifting, but regularly breathing through the mouth can affect the way the body grows and develops. For example, allergies, food sensitivities, enlarged tonsils/adenoids, chronic nasal congestion, respiratory infections, asthma, a deviated septum and nasal polyps can all induce mouth breathing. If not corrected, it can become a lifelong habit with serious consequences.

Because of the effect mouth breathing has on the tongue, it can lead to underdeveloped muscles and misaligned teeth. It also contributes to interferences with speech, swallowing, breathing and chewing. Breathing through the mouth can contribute to changes in the shape and structure of the face, especially in children that are still growing. Research published in the Journal of International Oral Health found that mouth-breathing children may suffer from significant abnormal facial and dental development, and even postural changes and spinal issues.

Mouth breathing is also a known contributor to oxygen deprivation, leading to symptoms such as headaches, gum disease, chronic cold symptoms, bad breath, cavities, poor sleep, chronic fatigue, cardiac problems and digestive disturbances. In children, mouth breathing can affect their academic performance and their behavior at home and school, including symptoms of ADHD.

For these reasons, it is important to see an orofacial myologist that specializes in dysfunction of the head and neck muscles.  The goal of our experienced orofacial myofunctional therapist is to help you retrain your muscles and establish healthy breathing habits. These changes can drastically improve your overall health and quality of life.

Madison L. Heckman, BSDH, is an orofacial myologist and registered dental hygienist at Dexter Dental Studio,  located at 7300 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd., Ste. 300, in Dexter. For more information or to make an appointment, call 734-426-8360 or visit