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How Does a Stuffy Nose Affect Your Mouth?

By March 27, 2015 - 10:37am

For those accustomed to breathing through their noses, catching a cold can be frustrating because a stuffy nose can make even simple things like breathing an ordeal. Because having a stuffy nose means that mouth breathing is the only available option, it create problematic situations with your oral health. Visit family dentist in Orlando today for regular check-ups and cleaning of your teeth.

The Harms of Mouth Breathing

Though it may not seem immediately obvious, mouth breathing can have lasting effects on a person’s oral health. Studies have shown that mouth breathing can, among other things, amplify cavity and gingivitis development and cause crooked teeth.

First of all, the air flow from mouth breathing can quickly dehydrate the mouth. This becomes problematic because saliva is one of the body’s best defenses against cavities because of its purifying nature. Naturally generated saliva can help reduce the acidity of the mouth and kill any bacteria growing on the teeth, thereby serving as a defense to both cavity formation and gingivitis (bad breath).

Excessive mouth breathing can disfigure teeth. Breathing through the mouth makes cheek muscles naturally relax around the upper teeth, a process that creates pressure on the teeth and slowly moves them to a more crooked position. Although this usually takes many years before symptoms become prevalent, it still remains a problem for chronic mouth breathers.

Preventing Mouth Breathing
Of course, these problems won’t spring up after a few days of a stuffy nose because of the flu, but getting rid of a stuffy nose is still important in the long run. For stuffy noses caused by viruses like a cold, the same medication that kills the virus usually can treat the effects of the virus. Even over the counter medication, like Tylenol usually contains material that helps alleviate stuffy noses. Nasal sprays designed to clear the nasal passages are another inexpensive and convenient option.

Stuffy noses can be caused by being in a dry environment for too long. This is why taking showers can make stuffy noses feel better. The steam helps thin out the mucus in your nose, and the heat can help reduce the inflammation inside your nasal passages. Using a humidifier is another way to make the air you breath more humid, naturally creating the ideal environment for your nose to get better.

Keeping hydrated is always important, especially if your stuffy nose is because of a virus or infection. Replenishing the water you might be losing keeps your body in a condition where it can fight the inflammation and help you get better faster.

If you do think that your oral health has deteriorated after a long illness, make sure you visit a dentist to get a professional opinion and recommendations.

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