Mouth Breathing

"The Nose is for Breathing. The Mouth is for Eating."

Did you know that if our tongue is is in its proper rest posture, sitting lightly suctioned to the roof of our mouth, it is impossible to take a breath through your mouth?  Go ahead and try it.  It can't be done!  So why do we see so many people breathing through their mouths?   As a Myofunctional Therapist our job is to play detective, collaborating with your other healthcare providers to determine what could be causing this and what we need to do to correct it.  

Possible causes of Mouthbreathing:
  • Enlarged Tonsil and Adenoids 
  • Enlarged Turbinates / Nasal Polyps
  • Deviated Septum / Narrow Nares
  • Allergies, stuffy nose
  • Tongue and Lip Ties
  • History of Non-nutritive Oral Habits
  • Low Resting Tongue Posture
  • Narrow, V-shaped Arch
  • Short Upper Lip

Why is it important to breathe through our noses?
We should be breathing through our noses all day every day.  From the time we are born we are obligate nasal breathers.  As air goes into the nostrils it is warmed and humidified.  Then the tiny little hairs called cilia at the back of the nose, filter out dust and other particles in the air we breathe.  Nasal nitric oxide is also ONLY produced in the nose and sinus' through nasal breathing.  This nasal nitric oxide is the body's natural chemical which has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-bacterial properties.  Nasal breathing produces 18% more O2 to the brain and muscles, improves brain development in children and there is even evidence of increased academic and athletic performance.  It allows optimal palatal development, adequate saliva production, and even fresh breath.  Lastly, nasal breathing activates our parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of our nervous system that is responsible for proper rest and digestion.  It lowers our pulse rate and blood pressure and aids in stress reduction.  

Problems with Mouthbreathing:
  • Dry Mouth
  • Narrow Palate
  • TMJ Pain
  • Dry Cracked Lips
  • Drooling Day/Night
  • Infected Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids
  • Sleep Disorder Breathing
  • Fatigue and Foggy Brain
  • Gingivitis, Cavities, Bad breath
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Crowded Teeth, Malocclusion