10 Month Old Keeps His Mouth Open a Lot

Updated on October 12, 2006
C.M. asks from Beloit, WI
9 answers

My son is 10 months old and since he was born, he keeps his mouth open. When he's sleeping he could catch flies and also when he's staring at something. We went to the doctor and he may have some allergy problems so the doctor recommended we start him on Claritin for a month. Then to see a ENT doctor. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it just the allergies or something else? Thanks

** I should also add that we have been using a humidifier in his room and well as giving him saline drops in his nose. They don't seem to help much!

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So What Happened?

We took Gavin to the ENT today and confirmed what we suspected. He's got enlarged adenoids. He may grow into them but if not, he will probably have to have them removed (6 months or so). Thanks for all your advice!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I've had the same problem with my daughter who is now 6. You should consider seeing a speech therapist, there are oral motor excercises that work for this problem.

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answers from Milwaukee on

2 other possibilities are enlarged adenoids and/or sinus issues.

My nephew did the exact same thing you described...heavy mouth breather, mouth always open, etc. After seeing an ENT and having x-rays done to check for structual issues of the nasal passages and sinuses it was discovered that his adenoids were much bigger than they should be and were blocking air-passage. After having his adnoids removed he was finally able to breathe through his nose and no longer was a mouth breather.

Another thing is sinuses. We recently had to deal with this with our 8 year old son. He has ALWAYS been "congested" but we had Dr's blowing us off telling it was viral or allergies. He did have his tonsils and adenoids removed when he was 3 thinking that was the problem since they were both very large but it didn't help, except he no longer suffered from tonsilitis. It wasn't until recently when he finally was being treated by an allergist that they discovered through a CT Scan that his sinus cavities were too small and the drainage ports were pretty non-existant. He was referred immediately to an ENT (this was at Children's Hosptial in Milwaukee) and was scheduled for surgery. The surgery was fairly simple, going up through the nose. They removed a bone to open up the sinus drainage port and they basically "roto-rutered" out his sinsus cavity since it was clogged full of 8 years of gunk. The results were IMMEDIATE. Only hours afte the surgery he said in astonishment "I can breathe through my nose!". His speach is much more clearer now and not so nasal-sounding. And while we still deal with allergies (he is on shot therapy now) he finally doesn't "snore" when awake from breathing through his mouth, he can now breathe clearly through his mouth, and the puffiness under his eyes that we thought was normal is now gone.

I would like to add too that with my son, no medications would help the congestion. No allergy meds or decongestion meds. Nothing. It was so frustrating that for 8 years he was basically suffering and were blown off my Dr's until I found ones that took me seriously!

Good Luck to you!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.,
I am not sure if it would help, but I would take him to see a Cranial Sacral Therapist (CST for short). It probably won't be covered by insurance but personally, it was the best money I spent on myself as well as my daughter. It is around $60 per hour session and most things can be treated in 1 to 3 treatments.
I had nasal problems for years and could never breathe from both nostrils but the first reason why I went was to be treated for hip problems because of a friend's recommendation. The person that I saw treated my skull (sounds crazy) and moved my nose through pressure points. About 20 minutes after the treatment my nose flowed like crazy and I breathed out of my nose for the first time in years! I have a phone number if you are interested. Best of luck, L.



answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter had the same problem and did the same thing. She also snored really badly. She ended up with terrible allergies and asthma. She was on Claritan and Singulair. I have her on other natural stuff now and she is doing so much better. She also was having problems breathing because she had enlarged tonsils (which were removed in Nov.). Does your son sleep alot? That is a big sign. They sleep a lot because they get interupted sleep in the middle of the night when they stop breathing for a second. It will wake them up.

God luck! If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me.



answers from Minneapolis on

I had this problem with my son. Just make sure you continue to see the specialist as needed. My son need his tonsils and adenoids out and I was told in the hospital when he was born to have them taken out when he was about four. Well, when he turned four, the pediatritian I had wouldnt send me to a ENT doctor. I ended up waiting until he was 8 and regret it. My son suffered from sleep apnea which resulted in bad grades and emotional outbursts. Your son may need surgury, most likely, and then to be on allergie meds and inhalers the rest of his life. Just follow your instincts and make sure he gets treatment so he doesn't have to suffer as my son did.



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Has Gavin's doctor done any allergy tests on him as of yet?? I think maybe to rule that truth or not that he should maybe try running an allergy screen on him before putting him on anything as far as allergies go. How is his breathing?? My son at a very young age allways had sinus problems and was never tested for that til age 7 and we found he had alot of allergies. So maybe try getting allergy tests done on him first.



answers from Madison on

C.~My son is 17 and a senior in high school and has had this problem since he was born. We call him a mouth breather. He had huge tonsils and adnoids, so they removed those. That seemed to "help" but didn't take care of the problems. He has many other tests done becuase he also has snored something terrible since he was little. The test they are going to do now is the inpatient sleep study, because what I have found out dealing with this with him is that all these other issues ( allergies, tonsils, adnoids ect....) there is a bigger problem going on. They do believe it is his sinuses. And believe me they told me when he was little, "small children don't have sinuses".....ok well then lets figure out whats going on with my son with no sinuses...don't just take the first opinion you get either, get a second or third... But you have to use your gut instinct also and do what you believe is best for your son. Its hard at any young age because there is only so much they are going to do to help him right now. These other things will probably give him some relief, I doubt its going to solve the problem. He needs to not only see an ent but also an allergist. It was actually our allergist that got to the bottom of our sons problems, because they have done the allergy testing on him several times over the years and the results always stump them because he is really not allergic to much. Normal things that most of us are probably allergic to and don't even realize it. So remember your mom and you know your son better than anyone and be his voice.



answers from St. Cloud on

HI C., I have 2 children and both my children have allergies and I have given both my children Claritin and Singulair. It has done wonders, although I was also told to try running a humidifier in the room. This can allow them to open up there airway a little more and that also helped. I hope that this helped a little. K. S.


answers from Minneapolis on

Go see the ENT Doctor. My husband has trouble breathing through his nose too and was told when he was in high school that an ENT Dr. could help, but he hates Doctors and wouldn't go.