Macomb County Dentist Discusses Problems Associated With Being a Mouth Breather

Hi. My name is Dr. Robert Antolak, The Gentle Dentist. We are located in Shelby Township which is in Macomb County. And our phone number is 586-247-3500. I’ve been in practice for dentistry for some 26 years and I’m happy to continually bring new information in the field of dentistry to you for those of you in Macomb and Oakland County, Michigan.  One thing I like to do is talk about is a situation I’ve had recently with a dental patient who is a mouth breather.  She had a number of issues that took place and I just want to go kind of over that process of what it is.

Typically when you’re, with the teeth, the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth as you can see in this model here. So, therefore, the upper arch is actually wider than the lower arch right here. And so, the teeth come together, they come together in a certain format.  The reason why that is, there’s a number of reasons why. One reason is that when the top teeth are actually hit, when the top teeth come out further and push the cheek out of the way. Every time you bite down, that keeps your cheek protected from biting and then on the inside, the bottom teeth are in farther so prevents the tongue from getting bit. Okay, so, we have a situation ideally where, once again, the cheeks are pushed out by the top teeth and then, they come down on the inside, where that top tooth is on the inside, and therefore the cheek is avoided from being bitten.

Through normal development which means that, when breathing, breathing through the nose is really a critical issue. People who have chronic sinusitis, or a deviated septum, things like that, which prevent them from breathing through their mouth, a certain sequence of events take place. This is also the same thing from children. When the children are very young and they have a pacifier and this pacifier is always in their mouth, or they suck their thumb, it’s the same thing.  That sucking the thumb keeps the thumb in there like that, and it keeps the top teeth, and pushes the top teeth out. So basically, you get the effect of these teeth are coming out further like this. Okay, when that takes place and you’re a mouth-breather, is the pressure from the cheeks, because her mouth is open, the pressure of the cheeks pushes the top teeth and makes the top jaw narrower now so that they breathe through their mouth.

You have to understand there’s a natural equilibration that takes place between the pressures from the tongue pushing out on the roof of the mouth and the cheeks pushing in and where that pressure is equalized is where the teeth end up developing.  So ideally, we have a situation where, the tongue inside is like this. When you swallow your tongue should go all the way to the roof of your mouth. And then, when you swallow it, the, the goes down. Those who are like I say, mouth breather or a thumb sucker, they’re natural tendency is to close up that space by pushing their tongue forward. Like this.

And that continually propagates the problem. The tongue, as it pushes the teeth out, the, the upper jaw gets narrower. As the upper jaw gets narrower, now we start biting on their, their back teeth. They start biting their cheeks then they continue to be a mouth breather and that creates a number of other issues. The top teeth are sticking out further over time as they become an adult. And as the teeth are narrowing the upper jaw, that prevents the natural the way that are supposed to function.

Ideally, the top of the eye teeth are supposed to take the forces from side to side when a person’s top teeth are out far that is not possible. Put some more pressure on the back teeth, it actually can start loosening them. So people who typically have been mouth breathers and thumb suckers. They have that certain appearance where they have the space between their top and their bottom teeth, a bit profound space sometimes. And their back teeth take the brunt of the biting forces.

Macomb County Dentist Discusses Problems Associated With Being a Mouth Breather

So if this sounds like something that you’ve gone through or an issue with that. Please, you can still give us a call at our Macomb County dental office. Our phone number is (586) 247-3500. You can also visit us on the web at Thank you.