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How to Tell If You're a Mouth Breather — Plus the Best Treatments

How to Tell If You're a Mouth Breather — Plus the Best Treatments

Since breathing is essential to staying alive, it makes sense that the body has a backup plan. If you’re so congested that you can’t breathe through your nose, you’ve always got your mouth. 

But the body functions its best when you use both your nose and mouth to breathe. If you continually use only your mouth, it can lead to issues over time. 

Avoiding those problems starts with finding out if you’re a mouth breather. Then, if you are, it means getting the right treatment. 

Fortunately, Eric R. Koch, DDS, can help with both. At Advanced Dental Care of East Texas in Jasper, Texas, he works with people to identify potential oral issues like mouth breathing and tongue thrusting. Then, he applies his specialty in airway-focused orthodontics to help resolve the problem. 

So, are you a mouth breather? Here are some tips from Dr. Koch to help you spot the signs. 

Identifying mouth breathing

If you breathe exclusively from your mouth — and particularly if you’ve breathed this way for a long time — you might not know it. It might seem overly simple, but just paying attention to how you breathe throughout the day can help determine if you are a mouth breather. 

Take note of how you feel when you wake up. If you start your day feeling groggy, irritable, or have a dry mouth, you might be mouth-breathing through the night. Check your pillow for pooled saliva, and if you have a bed partner, ask them if you snore. Saliva on your pillow and snoring both indicate nighttime mouth breathing. 

Other signs you might be a mouth breather include:

Bad breath is common in mouth breathers. Using your mouth to get air dries your saliva, which plays a essential role in keeping bacteria — including the ones that cause bad breath — at bay. 

Changing your breathing habits

Because we all breathe automatically, learning to breathe through your nose isn’t easy. It matters, though, because nose breathing offers key benefits, like improved oxygen uptake and an easier time fending off illness. 

That’s where Dr. Koch comes in. At our office, he analyzes your airways. Then, he tailors a treatment plan to help you transition from mouth-breathing to using both your nose and mouth. 

In some cases, that could be a decongestant to address whatever’s blocking your nasal passages. It could also mean airway-focused orthodontic treatment to help open your airways, especially at night as you sleep. 

If this blog has left you thinking you may be a mouth breather, don’t hesitate to call our office or book your visit online with Dr. Koch.

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