A Dentist in Hutchinson Explains How Mouth-Breathing Causes Plaque


Has anyone ever told you that you breathe with your mouth open at night? Have you noticed you have trouble breathing through your nose throughout the day? The cause can be the result of many health-related problems; however, if inhaling and exhaling through your mouth is your normalcy, you should know it can lead to problems with your oral health, such as plaque buildup. A dentist in Hutchinson explains why it’s better to breathe through your nose and how regular checkups can help in early detection of bacteria or plaque buildup.

The Way You Breathe

Breathing is a simple act we do every day without thinking; however, the way we breathe, either through the nose or mouth, can speak volumes about our overall health. Breathing through your nose allows the air to be warmed by our nasal passages. When air comes in through the mouth, it’s colder and can lead to dry mouth and ultimately, plaque buildup.

Inhale and Exhale: How it Impacts Your Oral Health

Mouth-breathing during the day and at night can create problems with the amount of saliva your mouth is able to generate. Without a sufficient amount of saliva, the mouth cannot get rid of harmful bacteria, nor can it rid your mouth of the food or drinks you consume. A lack of saliva also keeps from neutralizing acids that prevent tooth decay.

When plaque begins to grow around the gum line, it leads to gum disease. If not treated properly, it can result in periodontitis, which causes teeth to loosen or fall out. Gum disease has damaging effects on your overall health, as it has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Another way dry mouth caused by mouth-breathing can affect your health is with inflamed tonsils or adenoids. If air is not properly filtered and the mouth remains dry, it can cause an infection in the upper respiratory tract.

Ways to Prevent Buildup

First and foremost, the best way to prevent plaque buildup is by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing at least once a day will help to keep harmful bacteria from growing around the gum line. In addition, depending on why it is that you are breathing through your mouth and not your nose, your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter antihistamine if you’re battling a cold. If it’s a result of sleep apnea, you may need a CPAP or another form of treatment to address the amount of airflow reaching your lungs.

Apart from practicing good oral habits, make sure to keep a glass of water next to your bed. If you wake at night and your mouth is dry, take a sip of water to help moisten your mouth.

Make sure you are attending your regularly scheduled dental appointments. Talking to your doctor about how you breathe and the negative impact it’s having on your oral hygiene is the ideal place to start.

About the Practice
Dr. Grant Ringler, DDS, PA, graduated from the college of dentistry at the University of Nebraska. For more than 20 years, he has provided dental care to the community of Hutchinson. He and his team are committed to comfortable, pain-free, and relaxed dentistry, and want to provide you with the necessary information when creating a customized treatment plan. To learn more about Dr. Ringler and the services offered, visit our website or call (620) 860-0309.