Do you wake up with dryness in the mouth, hoarseness, or feeling tired and irritable? Take a moment to think about how you are breathing and how often you are inhaling. Individuals who breathe through their mouth as they sleep may develop dental conditions such as jaw pain or grinding of the teeth. Overtime, mouth breathing may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, sleep apnea, asthma, enlarged tonsils, speech or swallowing complications.
Why do I breathe with my mouth open?
Often, breathing during a night’s sleep is re-directed to the mouth if airflow is restricted through the nose. This may be the case if an individual has nasal congestion, sinus infections, enlarged adenoid glands or tonsils that may obstruct the nasal passage. Individuals with other nasal abnormalities such as an irregular shape or size of their nose or jaw may rely on mouth breathing. Stress and anxiety may also increase activity of the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in changed breathing patterns.
How do I prevent mouth breathing at night?
- Gently massage near the bridge of the nose and cheekbones.
- Use nasal rinse such as Netirinse by Hydrasense or NeilMed.
- Decrease the height of your pillow.
- Change your mattress and consider the type of material.
- Frequently replace your linen and ensure your pillowcase is covered during the day.
- Use Flonase. Please see your pharmacist or doctor to discuss conflicts with any potential medications you use regularly or intermittently.
- Wear a dental mouthguard when you sleep.
- Consider dietary considerations and an anti-inflammatory diet that includes nutrient-dense plant foods and limits processed foods or meats.