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Question about the Mouth Breathing article?

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by Lights517 Lights517 (New) New

Hello, I am a nursing student, and brand new to Allnurses.com! :]

I was just reading a highlighted article on this allnurses about problems mouth breathers face. (I pasted the article below). It says to have the mouth breathing corrected.. I was wondering how exactly you can correct this?

Also, the article talks about mouth breathing causing a high palate, are there any problems that can arise from having a high palate?

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Mouth Breathing May Lead to Medical, Other Problems

THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Health care professionals may be unaware of the physical, medical and social problems associated with mouth breathing, but it is important for the entire health care community -- including dentists -- to screen for and diagnose the condition to prevent these problems, according to an article in the January/February issue of General Dentistry.

Yosh Jefferson, D.M.D., of a private dental practice in Mount Holly, N.J., writes that children with untreated mouth breathing may develop long, narrow faces and/or narrow mouths, high palatal vaults, dental malocclusion, gummy smiles, and other facial features such as skeletal Class II or Class III facial profiles.

Jefferson adds that many children with the condition do not sleep well at night, which adversely affects growth and academic performance. In addition, he writes that mouth breathing may lead to medical issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems and sleep apnea, further cautioning that the condition may be misdiagnosed in children as attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.

"It is important for the entire health care community (including general and pediatric dentists) to screen and diagnose for mouth breathing in adults and in children as young as 5 years of age," the author writes. "If mouth breathing is treated early, its negative effect on facial and dental development and the medical and social problems associated with it can be reduced or averted."

Hello, I am a nursing student, and brand new to Allnurses.com! :]

I was just reading a highlighted article on this allnurses about problems mouth breathers face. It says to have the mouth breathing corrected.. I was wondering how exactly you can correct this?

Also, the article talks about mouth breathing causing a high palate, are there any problems that can arise from having a high palate?"

You got my attention and I looked up the article: Mouth breathing: Adverse effects on facial growth, health, academics, and behavior

By Yosh Jefferson, DMD, MAGD

Featured in General Dentistry, January/February 2010

Pg. 18-25

The article described my daughter and the photos of those children with the 'disorder' looked just like my daughter. She was tall for her age, thin, had long legs/arms, a mouth breather, and suffered with a high palate. Fortunately her dentist caught the problem and referred us to an orthodontist when she was about 7 because her teeth were too large for her face and were crowded. Over time, the orthodonist pulled some teeth, used the appliance described to open up her palate, and eventually applied orthodontia appliances. It took some years to correct the problem, but her teeth are beautiful and her face is normal--although reflective of a tall, thin person. My daughter is now a beautiful 6' tall blonde amazon with face, arms and legs that match her stature.

But, I believe you asked what can a nurse can do. The article states, "The importance of facial appearances in contemporary society is undeniable. Many studies have shown that individuals with attractive facial features are more readily accepted than those with unattractive facial features, providing them with significant advantages. However, many health care professionals (as well as the public) feel that individual facial features are the result of genetics and therefore cannot be altered or changed—in other words, the genotype ultimately controls the phenotype. However, more and more studies are showing that environmental factors may play a significant role in facial and dental development and may alter the phenotype."

Further, the author noted experiments with monkeys to produce the same problem that occurs from genetics:

"In the most definitive experiments to study the relationship between airway obstruction and craniofacial growth, latex plugs were inserted in the nasal openings of young rhesus monkeys. The sudden change from nasal respiration to oral respiration caused changes in the function of the masticatory muscles. The first noticeable changes were functional, as the animals altered their neuromuscular pattern of activity to breathe. With their nasal respiration blocked, individual monkeys achieved respiration in different ways; some postured their mandible with a downward and backward (retrusive) opening rotation, while others lowered and raised their mandibles rhythmically with each breath. Still others postured their jaws in a downward and forward (protrusive) position. Each in its own way was able to respirate; however, all did so via mouth breathing."

As a mother of a child who had this problem, it is my belief that for the most part it caused by genetics--there were no environment factors affecting my daughter as her father and some siblings has the same problem.

You asked what can a nurse do: a thorough assessment and if a high palate, crowded teeth are noted, referral to a qualified dentist/orthodontist. :coollook:

Edited by MeganS

The question is: which came first? Mouth irregularity and mouth breathing or mouth breathing leading to mouth irregularity. My guess that 99% of the time mouth breathing is directly related to genetically inherited facial/mouth irregularities.

Edited by MeganS