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Mouth Breathing

Is normal to breathe through your mouth?

While running or carrying heavy groceries in the house, exerting yourself so you get more oxygen intake.  I found myself breathing through my mouth, thinking it was normal. Myofunctional therapy training made me aware how incorrectly I was breathing! I was over breathing and it was not a healthy choice.  

Mouth breathing starts when we think we can't get enough air in through our nose, our mouth takes over.  This changes the way we breathe more often using our mouth then our nose.  This habit if not corrected leads to many unhealthy side effects.  

Mouth breathing and having an open mouth are the same thing and equally unhealthy.

What causes Mouth Breathing?

  • Allergies/ Food Sensitivities

  • Large Tonsils/ Adenoids

  • Asthma

  • Nasal Congestion

  • Respiratory Infection

  • Nasal Polyps

  • Deviated Septum

How Does Mouth Breathing Affect Your Health?

YOUR TONGUE is not in the correct spot when you breathe with your mouth.  This changes the way your tongue is at rest and how it works.

Your tongue should rest at the top of your mouth, but when your mouth is open it is resting at the bottom of your mouth.  This leads to underdeveloped oral muscles and leads to improper swallowing, speech, breathing, and chewing.  When the tongue is in a low resting position it pushes forward on your teeth when you swallow, this is a tongue thrust.

Tongue thrust and mouth breathing occur together.  If you are a mouth breather you also have a tongue thrust when swallowing.

Mouth breathing bypasses your body's natural filtration system, letting viruses and bacteria enter your upper respiratory quicker.  This increases lung infections and enlarges tonsils.  

Breathing through your mouth, is over breathing, this brings more oxygen into your body altering blood-gas balance in your lungs. Too much carbon dioxide is expelled from the lungs decreasing oxygen to your brain and tissues.

Facial Growth and Development

Mouth breathing alters your facial structure and appearance, especially in children during their growing years.  

Abnormal facial and dental development occur since the tongue is not in the correct spot.  During nasal breathing the tongue naturally holds teeth in correct place, a natural retainer.  Forces from the cheeks and tongue keep the jawline and chin in their natural shape.

Symptoms of untreated mouth breathers include a long, narrow, face and mouth, narrow jaw, week chins, less define cheek bones, gummy smiles, and crooked teeth.


Other Effects of Mouth Breathing on the Body:

Using the mouth to breathe alters natures way of efficiency.  The main problem is deprivation of oxygen which affects many other bodily functions. 

  • Digestive issues--gas, acid reflex, stomach aches 

  • Headaches

  • Bad breathe

  • Increased cavities--gingivitis, gum disease

  • Poor sleep--chronic fatigue

  • Induces obstructive sleep apnea

  • Poor posture-neck and shoulder pain

  • Sore throat and cold symptoms

  • Increased upper respiratory infections

Orthodontics and Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing affects the position of your teeth and your bite.  When  the mouth is open, the lips are week and there is no external support for the teeth. At the same time the tongue is pushing forward, progressively moving the teeth out of correct alignment. 

This causes problems with orthodontic treatment.  The time spent in braces will be longer, and high chances of results not being permanent.  

How do you Fix this?

This seems easy, just keep your mouth closed, right? 

It's not that simple. The body doesn't know how to breathe normally and the muscles of the face and mouth have compensated over time and learned how to work incorrectly. My programs are uniquely designed for your individualized needs. 

As a myofunctional therapist my goals are to help you stop breathing through your mouth.  When my patients switch from mouth breathing to nasal breathing the changes to their health and quality of life can be astonishing.

Contact me today for a comprehensive evaluation.  I see patients from the comfort of their home using video conferencing.


 Schedule Consult today!

Client Comments on Therapy with Marie

I am a "graduate" of Marie's Myofunctional Therapy program, and what a great experience it was.  The exercises assigned to me each week were manageable and in fact I enjoyed the feeling of strength over the course of the therapy in my facial muscles, my tongue and my swallow.  I greatly appreciate Marie's expertise, patience, good humor and enthusiasm for my progress during these 11 weeks.  She took care explaining all aspects of the treatment and the goals of the course, an I am so glad to have improved my breathing habits.

Linda K, Ph.D.

"Marie coached me through a dozen sessions and is very knowledgeable about myofunctional therapy . She thoroughly demonstrated the exercises and helped me make a lot of progress during our sessions. My sleep has improved, and my old habits of tongue thrusting and mouth breathing are fading away. I would recommend her program to anyone interested in improving their health” Tony K,  Minnesota

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