Is Mouth Breathing Harming Your Dental Health?

While the importance of fluoride in toothpaste, vitamins and rinses to prevent dental decay (caries) in our children’s teeth is certainly well documented in the dental literature, mouth breathing is also an important concern.

It certainly makes sense that the longer fluoride stays on our children’s teeth, the better the teeth are protected from “the decay bugs.”  Using mouth saliva instead of rinsing with water, to expectorate toothpaste after brushing is effective because “additional rinsing with water after brushing reduces the caries- prevention effect of fluoride toothpaste”. (Quoted Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network paper, 2014).

While keeping fluoride on our children’s teeth is important, keeping saliva on their teeth is just as important!  It has been widely accepted in medicine and dentistry that saliva plays a major protective role against dental decay.  Children may have reduced salivary flow as a result from blocked nasal passages which force them to breathe through their mouths.

“In many cases, people breathe through their mouths because the airway through their noses are blocked,” says Dr. R. Craig Miler (www.TheMillerCenter.com), a Livingston dentist and author of Get Back Your Smile, Take Back Your Life!  If people are breathing through their mouths and not their noses, their saliva dries up and the mouth becomes extremely susceptible to “the decay bugs.”

If children and adults are battling a dry mouth, all of the fluoride delivery for decay prevention, may be moot.

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