When Lily was age 6, we noticed she was mouth breathing at her dental examination. A brief conversation with mom and dad brought up several concerns:
- Restless sleep
- Waking tired
- Crowded teeth
- Mouth breathing
Lily had been snoring for some time, and it was not uncommon for her to talk and even yell in her sleep. Even with twelve hours of sleep, Lily was a "slow starter," and always tired in the mornings. She simply was not sleeping well! Her dental exam revealed crowded teeth, signs of snoring and mouth breathing due to nasal congestion. Lily was referred to an allergist who identified several food allergies and several environmental allergies. After effective allergy treatment for nine months, Lily's face came alive with normal nasal breathing.
The first picture is Lily at age 6 and the second picture is her at age 7 after she had been treated for allergies and after correction of mouth breathing day and night.
This x-ray shows that there is not enough room for her permanent teeth, her teeth are crowded.
Since her jaws had narrowed due to mouth breathing and improper swallowing, we used orthodontic expanders to normalize Lily's upper and lower jaws and her face is blossoming!
The first picture below shows drooping eyelids and her head is projected forward (forward head posture). The second pictures shows life in her face!
Upper airway obstruction in children is very common and an overlooked problem. It is not normal! If your child is not breathing normally, their face and mouth are growing incorrectly and crowded teeth is the result.
Common signs of a compromised airway include: poor nursing, restless sleep or waking frequently at night, kicking the blankets off, bedwetting, snoring and heavy breathing during sleep, grinding teeth during sleep, mouth breathing, crowded teeth and large tonsils. Behavior problems like short attention span, ADHD and difficulty with reading, concentration and school work are also frequently caused by upper airway problems.
Breathing through your mouth is like running on an empty tank of gas! It's just not the same as breathing through your nose as God intended.