Navigation Links
Allergy-Linked Mouth Breathing Spells Trouble for Kids

Children at risk for facial deformities, poor grades, dentists say

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose can lead to more than just dry tongues and palates.

Chronic mouth breathers, most often children with allergies, have problems getting enough oxygen into their blood, which affects their size, weight, sleep and even school performance, a recent study finds.

"Mouth breathing is a medical problem that touches almost every family. It's an unrecognized epidemic that needs immediate attention," said study author Dr. Yosh Jefferson, a general dentist in Mount Holly, N.J., who has been treating orthodontia patients for more than 20 years.

"A lot of doctors will say that if you wait, it will just go away," said Jefferson, who teaches and lectures on mouth breathing to spread the word, adding "it won't just go away."

Mouth breathing is caused by nasal obstructions, often the result of chronic infections and allergies. Consequences of untreated mouth breathing include unattractive facial and dental development, such as long face syndrome, narrow mouths and receding or protruding jaws.

Published in a recent issue of the journal General Dentistry, the study notes that mouth breathing is also associated with sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder.

"They are suffocating and literally dying a slow death that robs them of their appearance, health, longevity and quality of life. Mouth breathing is very treatable, but to do this it must be diagnosed and treated as early as possible," Jefferson said.

Allergy medications aren't an effective treatment over the long run, because of undesirable side effects, said Jefferson. Mouth breathing is often corrected when tonsils and adenoids are removed, but this procedure isn't done as routinely as it once was.

Mouth breathers who develop facial deformities need to wear corrective dental appliances, sometimes along with regular braces, to correct high vaulted mouth roofs, narrowing sinuses, and deformed jaws. Left untreated, more serious facial surgery can be needed.

But the complications of mouth breathing aren't just physical. Shallow breathing causes insufficient oxygen in the bloodstream, resulting in fitful sleep. The children are tired during the day and perform poorly in school, often exhibiting anger and frustration typical of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a result, they can be misdiagnosed with this condition.

Such was the case of a 5-year-old boy mentioned in the study. A mouth breather, he was often tired and not doing well in school. He regularly lost control of his behavior and had to be disciplined. But a year after he had his tonsils and adenoids removed and began wearing a functional appliance, his mother reported he was sleeping better at night, his behavior was normal, and he tested in the 99th percentile on a school-administered achievement test. He had also stopped bedwetting.

Humans swallow about 2,000 times day, causing the tongue to exert pressure on the roof of the mouth, widening the palate, Jefferson said. Mouth breathers don't swallow as often because the open mouth tends to be dry. This eliminates pressure, causing the vaulting of the roof of the mouth. The longer the condition is left untreated, the harder it is to fix.

Dr. Leslie Grant, a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, said besides allergies, trauma at birth and Down syndrome can also cause mouth breathing.

Grant, who works in dental administration for the State of Maryland, thinks there may be a connection between mouth breathing problems and fewer tonsillectomies, once performed more routinely.

"I appreciate that he is bringing this issue to the forefront of the practice of dentistry because it's important and often overlooked," said Grant.

Jefferson describes his work as an effort to beautify facial features as well as solve health problems.

"If you harmonize the face the way God and nature intended, wonderful things can happen," said Jefferson. "And it's not rocket science."

More information

For more on children's dental health, go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

SOURCES: Yosh Jefferson, D.M.D., general dentist, Mount Holly, N.J.; Leslie Grant, D.D.S., dental administrator, State of Maryland, and spokesperson, Academy of General Dentistry; January/February 2010 General Dentistry

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Kidney-disease drug with Dartmouth origins licensed in Asia
2. Mouth Area Wrinkles More in Women Than Men
3. 15 Free Videos, Kids Visit GarGar The Dentist, Promote Children's Oral Health Education - MouthWise Web Adventures 4 Kids.
4. Mouth breathing can cause major health problems
5. Give dirty mouths a brush
6. Barrow researcher reports that slow breathing reduces pain
7. Breathing Obstructions Caused by Sinusitis can Require Surgery, says Denver's Nose Doc
8. Troubled Teens Wizard Earns Coveted Truste Certification
9. Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
10. In Women, Aspirin Might Ward Off Eye Trouble
11. Eva's Village, a Paterson, New Jersey Anti-Poverty Charity, Seeks End of Year Charitable Contributions to Help Poor in a Troubled Economy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... American Family Care (AFC), the nation’s ... a holiday pop-up clinic located in Metro Atlanta’s North Point Mall. The clinic is ... different way. The location is scheduled to operate through Dec. 24. , Holiday Pop-Up ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CT (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Aided ... (WCHN) today announced an innovative study designed to yield insights into how to detect ... development of biomarkers for pancreatic cancer from small, non-coding RNA molecules (ncRNA), genetic material ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Cleveland University-Kansas City (CU-KC), in Overland Park, Kansas. Benson, a fifth-trimester ... University President Carl S. Cleveland III on October 16. , “Katie is very ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Healthy Aging Program have announced their endorsement of the Medical Fitness Network ... Fitness is proud to have the MFN as one of our endorsed organizations,” ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Warsaw, IN (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... in his office to help the community stress less this holiday season. During ... unnecessary additional stress in people's lives and the team at AlignLife want to help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... NEW DELHI , November 25, 2015 ... fear invoked due to repeated failure of IVF cycles. ... Rani Bhatia was totally dejected and had lost all hopes that ... the first Indian miracle child conceived after failure of ... to abroad (UK) before they decided to take one last ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... BOULDER, Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron ... Annual Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public ... a webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray ... OfficerDate:  , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 2015 Avery Biomedical Devices ... ist erfreut, die Berufung von Anders Jonzon, ... zu können.   ... Foto -   ... 1984-1986 war er Fellow des Cardiovascular Institute ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: