Oral Microbiota in Mouth-Breathing Patients (Streptococcus Mutans and Lactobacillus Spp)
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“Mouth breather” we define all the individuals in whom the respiratory function is carried out with the exclusive passage of air through the oral cavity as a result of a pathological adaptation, whether in the presence of nasal and/or pharyngeal obstruction.
Physiological breathing at rest takes place through the nose with the lips closed effortlessly and the front part of the back of the tongue resting on the palate. Indeed, the primary function of the nose is to humidify, heat and purify from dust and bacteria the air inhaled, before taking it in ideal conditions to the lungs.
Chronic breathing through the mouth, in the child, will affect the morphology of the face. It will appear elongated, characterized by a contraction of the maxilla and the base of the nose, with a high palatal vault and a class II malocclusion produced by downward and backward mandibular growth. Respiratory habits acquired during childhood may be responsible for the appearance of habitual oral breathing in adulthood.
Streptococcus mutans is a Gram-positive bacterium, characterized by the ability to adhere to dental structures and to produce lactic acid from sugars and intra and extracellular polysaccharides is able to resist an acidic environment.
Lactobacilli are mainly responsible for the progression of caries, causing significant damage to dental structures through multiplication and diffusion and are characterized by the production of acid, resist to substances that reduce the bacterial load such as chlorhexidine and acids. Unlike mutant streptococci, they colonize areas of difficult access for cleaning and oral hygiene
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