Dentists May Best Detect Mouth Breathing

WESTAMPTON, N.J., April 8 (UPI) — Since many see their dentists every six months dentists may be in a position to identify the symptoms of mouth breathing, U.S. researchers said.

Study author Yosh Jefferson said children whose mouth breathing goes untreated may suffer from abnormal facial and dental development, gummy smiles, gingivitis and crooked teeth.

Mouth breathing can result in poor sleeping habits, which can hurt growth and academic performance, Jefferson said.

“Many of these children are misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. In addition, mouth breathing can cause poor oxygen concentration in the bloodstream, which can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep apnea and other medical issues,” Jefferson said in a statement. “Children who mouth breathe typically do not sleep well, causing them to be tired during the day and possibly unable to concentrate on academics.”

A dentist can check for mouth breathing symptoms such as swollen tonsils, which can be surgically removed, improving breathing, Jefferson said.

The findings were published in the journal General Dentistry.

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