Dental Problems

Treatment for Mouth Breathing Habit

ToothMouth breathing can cause a change in the position of the mouth. Thus, mouth breathers require treatment to correct the condition and prevent the habit.In this article, there is a brief discussion on the treatment for mouth breathing habit. Let us examine them.

Treatment for mouth breathing habit:

  • Age of the kid:

    As with any of the other habits, correction of the mouth breathing habit could be expected as the kid matures. This could be attributed to an increase in the nasal passages as the kid grows, thus relieves the obstruction which is caused due to an enlarged adenoids. In many instances, mouth breathing is a self-correction after puberty.

  • E.N.T examination:

    To determine whether the conditions requiring the treatment are present inside the nasal septum, adenoids or tonsils, an otorhinolaryngologist examination can be advised. In some kids, mouth breathing might continue even after correcting the pathologic conditions, because this may be habitual.

    Correction need to be aimed first at removing any functional or anatomic causes. To institute any treatment for the actual cause, it is very important to determine the degree and type of mouth breathing, if it is obstructive or habitual, and whether the total mouth breathing is partial or whether it is present.

Correction of breathing through mouth:

Mouth breathing need to be treated during mixed dentition period as to correct or prevent its ill side effects on the occlusion.

Symptomatic treatment:

Mouth breathing individuals gingival must be restored to a normal health condition by coating it with petroleum jelly, applying the preventing dentistry methods or techniques and also by clinical correction of the periodontal defects which have occurred due to mouth breathing habit.

The mouth breathing treatment should be aimed at the following:

  1. Elimination of the mouth breathing habit cause:

    If pharyngeal or nasal obstruction has been diagnosed as one of the mouth breathing causes, attempts need to be made first for treating the etiologic factor. Removal of pharyngeal or nasal obstruction by local medication of surgery should be sought. If the condition is due to respiratory allergy, then this needs to brought under control. There is a marked reduction in the nasal airway resistance that has been reported to have been achieved after a rapid expansion of the maxillary.

  2. Interception of the mouth breathing habit:

    If the mouth breathing habit continues after the obstruction removal then it must be corrected. Correction of the mouth breathing habit can be done by the following means:


    If the mouth breathing habit is not due to the cause of physiologic then the patient need to be instructed in lip and breathing exercises.

    • Physical exercises:

      Physical exercises must be done in the early morning and at night. Exercises involving deep breathing are done with a deep inhalation of air through the nose with the arms raised sideways. Later, after a short time period, the air is exhaled out through the mouth by dropping the arms to the sides.

    • Lip exercises:

      The most common characteristics include flaccidity and hypotonicity of the upper lip. The kid is instructed for the upper lip extension as far as possible in order to cover the border of vermilion behind and under the maxillary incisors. When the child patient has a shorter upper lip, then this exercise must be done for a period of 4 to 5 months daily about 15 to 30 minutes. If there is a protrusion of the maxillary incisors, then the lower lip may be used for the upper lip exercise augmentation. First, the upper lip is extended similar to the previously described position. The lower lip vermilion border is then placed against the upper lip outside extension and pressed against the upper lip as hard as possible. This type of exercises do exert stronger retraction influence on maxillary incisors, this increases both the lower and upper lips tonicity.

      Playing an instrument of wind may actually be a procedure of interceptive orthodontic.

      A celluloid metal disk or strip held between the kids lips not only necessitate their lips being closed but it also makes the kids conscious of opening as if that object drops from their mouth.

    • Maxillothorax myotherapy:

      Macaray in 1960 advocated the maxillothorax myotherapy. These are the expanding exercises which are used in conjunction along with the activator made by Macaray. Macaray constructed the Macaray activator using aluminum with which the dental arches development and the relationship of dental arches can be corrected at the same time while encouraging mouth breathing.

      Aluminum activator is the stable one and is incorporated inside the mouth at the angle of the patient’s mouth with the help of horizontal hooks which are attached with the expanding rubber bands. The mouth breathing patients holds this activator inside the mouth, alternately the patient caries out ten exercises about 3 times in a day with the right and left arms at a similar time.

      The patient stands against the wall with his/her back, raises and lowers his/her toes in the time along with the expanding exercises tightly holding the lips together and carries out a technique with a healthy forced breathing in the front of the open window. This myotherapeutic exercises are indicated for the mouth breathers as they also helps in preventing a relapse. The myotherapeutic additional expander exercises during the bimaxillary treatment help in establishing a physiological nasal breathing along with the maldevelopment of the thorax correction.

    • Oral screen:

      One of the most effective ways to reestablish the nasal breathing is by preventing the entry of air through the oral cavity. For this purpose one can use the oral screen and the patient must close the oral cavity or the lips. Oral screen must be constructed with the oral tissue compatible material. After the treatment period of 3-6 months, there is a reduction in anterior open bite.

      A thin rubber membrane is an effective device to use during the sleeping hours. This membrane can be either cast or cut to fit over the buccal or labial surfaces of the gums and teeth include inside the vestibule of the mouth. Windows are placed during the initial phase on the oral screen so that there is no complete blockage of the airway passage.

    Membrane construction:

    1. Vestibule impression is taken with the occlusion teeth. This must be extended to below and above the mucobuccal-fold and to the posterior fields.
    2. A rubber sheet of 22-gauge is adapted over the plastic cast, it is removed and trimmed into size.

    Cast construction:

    A thin even layer (24 gauge) of wax is covered over the wax to which a sprue of large is attached. Later, a layer of plaster is boxed and poured over the wax for mold formation. Boiling water is used to eliminate the wax. To cast, pure latex is poured full to form a level, which is permitted or allowed to stand for 12 hours. There are two other direct methods which are discussed below.

    1. Warming Plexiglas to the molding stage and cast adaptation.
    2. Pure latex painting over the surface of the cast: Application of latex of an even thickness about 1/8 inch, cured for about 10 to 20 minutes at 130 to 140 F. Due to the shrinkage of latex to half of its amount, a second coating is applied and cured. This gives the overall finished thickness of about 1/8 inch.
  3. Malocclusion correction:

    Appliances of mechanical:

    1. Kids with class I dental and skeletal occlusion and the anterior spacing require oral shield appliance.
    2. For 5-9 years of age, class II division I and dentition without crowding, Monobloc activator is used to help both in malocclusion correction and habit deterrence. This monobloc activator appliance when worn does not allow mouth breathing.
    3. Interceptive methods with class III malocclusion are recommended as the chin cap. Before the treatment, the kid must be evaluated for the sufficient air passage.

The above article discusses about the treatment consideration for mouth breathing habit.

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