Humans breathe through the nose; human breathing hardly makes any noise. And this is the only normal way. Anything that goes beyond it, is an indicator of an underlying health condition.
Mouth-breathing, i.e. breathing through the mouth and snoring are two breathing abnormalities that may be symptoms of a disease or problem in the respiratory system. But when it happens to children, many people consider that it is only a juvenile practice and that they will grow out of it.
But is it really so? Let’s read a few facts on mouth-breathing and snoring.
Is Mouth-breathing A Normal Thing?
Mouth breathing is not physiological natural. It should not be considered normal. It is indeed a red signal telling us that there is something wrong in the nose which is forcing the child to take breathing through the mouth instead.
What Causes Mouth-breathing In Kids?
The cause of mouth-breathing in children can be a either a developmental problem or a disease or because of an injury. Any of there may contribute to an abnormal breathing pattern leading to mouth-breathing and/or snoring. However, the most common causes are:
- Allergic Rhinitis : Inflammation in nasal passages.
- Deviated Nasal Septum:
- Adenoid Hypertrophy
- Soft Palate Deformity
- All these underlying conditions can be cured through proper treatment. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. But if these conditions are left untreated, they can lead to more severe complications.
What Are The Complications Related To Mouth-breathing?
Many people have this notion that mouth-breathing in children is chiefly ‘harmless’. Even some pediatricians reserve this opinion. But mind you, the ONLY natural way of breathing is a silent breathing through the nose. But the seemingly ‘harmless’ activity can impact your child’s behaviour and personality.
A mouth-breathing child may be vulnerable to the following complications:
- Dry mouth
- Bad breath
- Chapped or cracked lips
- Difficulty in breathing
- Sleep deprivation
- Challenged cognitive development
- Long, narrow face
- Crooked teeth
- Receded jaw
- Speech abnormality
- Sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Poor immunity
- Tendency of Obesity
When To Visit An Expert :
From the first time you notice your child breathing through the mouth, discourage this practice. If it is a behavioural issue, it will go away in a few days. Alternatively, you will need to visit a paediatric-ENT specialist. The doctor will diagnose the underlying cause and start the treatment accordingly. But if your child has developed the habit of breathing through the mouth for quite a while now, you may start noticing abnormalities in her/his mouth pattern. In that case, in addition to a paediatric-ENT specialist, you will also need to Consult a Paediatric Dentist to manage the abnormal development in the mouth area.
About the Doctor:
Dr Sampurna Ghosh at Sunshine Hospitals has completed her MBBS and MS from one of the oldest and prestigious Govt. Medical Colleges in Kolkata. She has received innumerable Gold Medals/Awards during her Medical Career. She got her higher surgical training in Endoscopic Sinus Surgery and Obstructive Sleep Apnea under National and International Pioneers. She is also actively involved in multiple clinical research works. She constantly updates her clinical knowledge and surgical skills by regularly attending surgical workshops and conferences. She is trained to perform various microscopic and endoscopic Ear Surgeries, Laryngeal surgeries and Pediatric ENT surgeries. Her special expertise includes Endoscopic Sinus Surgery and Sleep Apnea Surgeries.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma, and Neurology.