Mouth Breathing And Dry Mouth: Are Your Sinus Infections Damaging Your Oral Health?

11 February 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles

If your frequent and severe sinus infections cause you to breathe through your mouth at night, take steps to treat both issues now. Mouth breathing can cause dry mouth, or xerostomia, which can lead to gum disease and halitosis without the proper dental care or treatment. In some cases, you can lose your teeth or develop jaw inflammation if the bacteria from your sinus infections spreads to your mouth. Protect your oral health from halitosis and dry mouth by seeing a dentist today. Here's what you need to know about your sinus infections and oral health.

How Bad Are Your Sinus Infections for Your Oral Health?

Sinus infections often develop from bacteria or fungi that enter the nasal cavity. A weakened immune system and ear infections can also lead to sinus infections. If you currently don't take medications to alleviate the swelling and pressure inside your sinuses, your sinus infections can become worse with time, especially if they affect your breathing. 

Severe sinus infections can block or swell up the tissues inside your nasal cavity that transport oxygen to your lungs. In order to bypass the swollen tissues, you may subconsciously breathe through your mouth. If your mouth breathing occurs during the day, you can quickly stop the issue by closing your mouth. However, mouth breathing becomes a serious problem for you at night because you may not realize that you're doing it until you develop dry mouth.

How Does Dry Mouth Affect You?

Although dry mouth is a common dental problem for many adults, teens and kids, it's generally manageable with the right treatments. But if you don't see a dental provider for care, your dry mouth can eventually produce serious symptoms that damage your mouth and throat. Severe symptoms of dry mouth can range from very low saliva in the mouth to painful, open sores on the tongue, lips and inner cheeks. You can also experience problems eating salty or spicy foods, because the seasonings burn or aggravate the sores in your mouth.

If bacteria spread to the glands in your throat that make saliva, they won't make enough saliva to moisturize your dry mouth. Even drinking the recommended amounts of water each day may not help alleviate the dry, parched feeling in your mouth and throat. Instead, the saliva you do manage to produce becomes ropey and thick and infested with germs.

The bacteria inside your mouth increase until you develop a foul, sulfuric odor that doesn't go away, even with OTC mouthwashes and minty toothpastes. You develop inflammation in your gums and halitosis, or chronic bad breath. If the bacteria in your mouth mingle with the germs in your infected sinuses, you may experience pain and inflammation in your upper jaw, which lies just below your sinus cavities. 

The best way to get through your dry mouth and sinus infections is to see a dentist and your medical provider for care.

How Can a Dentist Help You?

A dentist generally treats xerostomia with special alcohol-free mouth rinses that increase the moisture inside your mouth and throat. The mouthrinses may also reduce the bacteria inside your mouth to help control your dry mouth and halitosis at night and throughout the day. If you developed a gum inflammation or disease from your dry mouth, a dental provider may suggest that you see them on a regular basis to manage your oral health. 

A dental provider may also suggest that you seek medical care from your primary doctor to manage your sinus infections. Even with regular dental visits and care, the symptoms of your dry mouth can get worse if you don't treat the underlying cause. A dentist may choose to work directly with your primary doctor throughout your treatment to ensure that your oral health improves. 

For more information about your dry mouth and sinus infections, contact a clinic like Family Dental Center TriCities, PC.