Breathing Disorders and Dysfunctional Breathing

Dysfunctional breathing can occur while awake and while sleeping. Dysfunctional breathing that involves difficulty breathing during sleep are classified as sleep related breathing disorders.

Types of Dysfunctional Breathing

Mouth Breathing

Can occur in adults and children and occurs when you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. In children, mouth breathing can cause crooked teeth, facial and oral development issues and even poor growth. In adults, mouth breathing can cause bad breath, gum disease and other health conditions. Shortness of breath and snoring increase in mouth breathers.

You may not realize you breathe through your mouth, especially while you sleep.

Common symptoms of mouth breathing during sleep:

  • Snoring
  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Waking up tired and/or irritable
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Circles under eyes (Baggy eyes)

Mouth Breathing in Infants & Children

At birth, most infants are nasal breathers. Babies are born with this natural instinct in order to breast feed and breath at the same time. If a baby has an obstructed airway such as a tongue tie, he or she may not breastfeed properly or become colicky.

Mouth breathing in children can also contribute to improper tongue and swallow function, enlarged and/or inflamed tonsils and adenoids, and speech, facial growth and development issues. If these issues form and aren’t corrected early, they can lead to adulthood problems such as dysfunctional breathing and sleep breathing disorders.

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