Why Do I Breathe Through My Mouth When I Sleep?

Do you ever wake up with a dry mouth or sore jaw in the morning? Chances are you’ve been breathing through your mouth when you sleep. We’ll walk you through the causes of, consequences of, and ways to prevent breathing through your mouth when you sleep.

cartoon man sleeping and mouth breathing

Causes of Mouth-Breathing

There are two primary reasons for mouth-breathing during sleep. The first is that there may be an issue with or blockage in your nasal airway, such as a deviated septum and congestion. The second is simply due to bad habits.

Consequences of Mouth-Breathing

Breathing through your nose helps your brain, hormones, and even your mood. Although it seems totally innocuous, mouth-breathing can actually yield damaging consequences. It can cause crooked teeth and facial deformities in children, and even impact their growth overall. It can also cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, since it causes a surge in oral bacteria. Although you can’t be conscious of how you are breathing while you sleep, there are actually a number of ways that you can ensure that you are breathing properly as you sleep while you’re awake.

Preventing Mouth-Breathing

There are a few ways to prevent mouth-breathing, and they actually involve a little oral exercise! You can strengthen your tongue, which helps keep your airway nice and open, by doing oropharyngeal exercises. You can also be more mindful of how your tongue rests, since that can actually impact the way that your palate and teeth are formed (this especially rings true for children).

A couple of other ways to ensure that you’re breathing through your nose while you sleep. Simply holding your lips together and breathing through your nose is an effective way to train yourself to do nasal breathing instead of mouth-breathing, as well as resting your tongue against your palate to maintain proper positioning more often.

The way you breathe can have a bigger impact on your oral health than you’d think. If you have concerns about snoring or even sleep apnea, we can help you have a happier and healthier life here at Dental Solutions of Avon. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!

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