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Mouth Breathing, What's the Big Deal?

Most of us breathe through our nose, our natural humidifier and filtration system. Occasionally mouth breathing is natural, lifting a heavy load or increase our heart rate during exercise, but using the mouth all the time causes our body to alter nature’s balance which leads to health problems.

Mouth breathing starts when we can’t get enough air through the nose. Naturally we use the mouth out of necessity and this becomes habitual and life-long habit if not corrected.

It is important to realize that mouth breathing and having an open mouth are the same and equally detrimental to your health.

WHY MOUTH BREATHE?

Most common cause of mouth breathing or an open mouth are:

  • Allergies and/or Food Sensitivities

  • Enlarged Tonsils or Adenoids

  • Respiratory Infection

  • Asthma

  • Deviated Septum

  • Nasal Polyps

FACIAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Believe it or not, breathing through your mouth can actually change the shape of your face and alter your appearance. Children whose mouth breathing is not corrected may suffer from abnormal facial and dental development.

Symptoms of untreated mouth breathing include long narrow face and mouths, less defined cheek bones, small lower jaw, crooked teeth, gummy smiles, week chin, smaller airways, and tired eyes.

A “mouth breather” facial expression is typically not seen as an attractive or desirable appearance.

OTHER EFFECTS ON THE BODY

Using the mouth for breathing alters our natural body mechanics

and lead to symptoms such as:

  • Headaches

  • Gingivitis and Gum Disease

  • Sore Throat and Cold Symptoms

  • Bad Breath

  • Increased Risk Dental Cavities

  • Sleep Disordered Breathing

  • Digestive Issues-gas, upset stomach, acid reflux, etc.

In children, mouth breathing has been linked to poor growth and weak academic performances as well as ADD and ADHD symptoms. In adults, it has been connected to high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep apnea, and other medical issues.

Mouth breathing leads to postural changes and spinal issues. When the tongue is in the wrong position, the head tends to rest forward, causing shoulders to slump. When the mouth is open it’s more difficult to sit up straight.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO TREAT MOUTH BREATHING?

Mouth breathing may seem like an easy habit to change, just close your mouth, right?

Unfortunately, those who struggle with mouth breathing it’s not that easy. The body simply doesn’t know how to breathe normally, and over time the muscles of the face and mouth have compensated and learned to work incorrectly. If the muscles are not retrained problems with general health, speech, orthodontic treatment, dental health, sleep apnea, swallowing, and breathing will persist throughout life.

Myofunctional therapy is instrumental in helping you to retrain your muscles so they function naturally in their proper healthy way. Breathing naturally to sustain your optimal health. My goal is to help my client’s nasal breathe, keep their tongue in the proper spot, maintain lips together, and swallow properly. These adjustments will improve your overall health and quality of life!

Contact me today for your FREE 30 minute Assessment from the comfort of your own mobile device!