A frequent (but often undiagnosed) condition in childhood is chronic mouth breathing (CMB).
In contrast to occasional runny or stuffy nose that causes transient mouth breathing, many children breath constantly through their mouth. For some children, this condition has severe consequences that range from mouth and throat dryness, increased dental caries, sleeplessness, and even misclassification of behavioral problems. Chronic mouth breathing is also associated with narrowing of the palate and cross bites.
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Mouth breathing may have various etiologies including allergic, anatomic, and other. Our doctors will assess mouth breathing using a questionnaire. We will ask for parental help to document its frequency at home over the next few weeks. We may refer you to other healthcare specialists for further evaluation.
Palatal expansion is one approach we use in this office to correct the occlusion that results from mouth breathing. Due to the associated skeletal changes that occur with palatal expansion, several case studies show that palatal expansion often helps to resolve mouth breathing.
Once the breathing is resolved, often children sleep more and sleep better, resulting in noticeable changes in their behavior and energy levels as well as school performance.