Effects of Poor Breathing Habits and Improper Tongue Position

Effects of Poor Breathing Habits and Improper Tongue Position

When 11-year-old Mathilda (not her real name) first came to me, she suffered from a burning palm sensation. She was also troubled by frequent headaches and stomach aches.

I noticed that she had a forward head posture and a mouth breathing habit. She had difficulty in swallowing too, which I believe was the root cause of her stomach ailment.

The most intriguing part for me was the burning palm sensation she was experiencing. It was negatively impacting her school life. Sometimes while writing, she would drop her pen, and her teachers would be confused about what was happening.

She was so distressed by her burning palm, headaches, and stomach aches that very often, she’d break down in tears. On many occasions, her mother would have to rush her to the hospital from school. Then again, doctors could never figure out the source of the problem.

The most plausible cause of her illness was poor breathing habits and an improper tongue position.

The ideal position of the tongue is at the roof of the mouth. This position opens your airway and allows you to breathe. It also helps you to swallow.

Proper jaw development will follow when the tongue is at its ideal position, allowing space for the teeth to erupt and preventing them from crowding.

Studies show that sleep quality and dental health are closely related. When we breathe better, we also sleep better. Grinding teeth, snoring and sleeping with your mouth open are red flags for an airway issue.

Mouth breathing at night, combined with an obstructed airway, directly relates to sleep apnea and altered levels of oxygen in the bloodstream. Any poor breathing habits will compromise the oxygen supply to the brain and impact the brain’s functions considerably. When less oxygen can reach the brain, it affects learning and focusing at school. Sometimes, children may be displaying signs of ADHD, but it could just be pointing to improper sleep habits and not getting enough rest.

At DP Dental, there are three things that we always focus on, not just for oral health but for overall health and wellness. Tongue up, lips closed, and breathe through your nose.

If you notice that your child is breathing through the mouth or have their mouth open when they’re relaxed, we suggest you approach us for a proper evaluation. We can correct oral habits and treat problems at the root through early intervention and habit correction. Do call us at 62820122 or WhatsApp at 8057 7381.

Dr. Yue Weng Cheu

Dr. Yue Weng Cheu completed his BDS degree at the National University of Singapore and was awarded The Pierre Fauchard Academy Foundation Annual Scholarship Award.