All you could ever want to know about mouth breathing straight from the Orofacial Myologist’s mouth!
10 General Reasons to Breathe Out of Your Nose:
- Warms the air to the optimal temperature for our lungs
- Brings moisture into our internal system (We breathe through our nose 20,000 times per day, brining 1L of moisture into our system!)
- The hair and membranes inside our nasal passage allow for mucus to be released to avoid throat clearing and coughing
- Antibacterial molecules are released and trigger an improved immune system
- Helps us smell the quality of the air and respond appropriately
- Cools our sinuses and helps to regulate our body temperature
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces risk of a sinus infection
- Regulate sleep
- Reduces risk of snoring
Orofacial Implications of Mouth Breathing:
Differences in Structures
If we are breathing through out NOSE:
- The tongue is up in the palate and lightly suctioned
- Molars are 2-3 mm apart (this is called the freeway space)
- Lips are closed
If we are breathing through out MOUTH:
- The tongue falls to the floor of our mouth
- The freeway space increases greatly
- The lips are apart.
Why do these differences matter?
- If our lips are not covering our teeth then it allowed for movement of the teeth and supports lip incompetence (weakness)
- If the tongue is not up in the palate, then there can be growth issues in children (palates not properly formed) that lead to poor positioning for speech sounds
- If the freeway space is larger than 2-3mm, then there is an increased chance for bite problems to occur
If we’re not supposed to be breathing through out mouths….then why are we?
- Large tonsils and/or adenoids
- The tongue is pushing or thrusting forward
- Deviated septums
- Restricted lingual frenums (think tongue and lip ties)
- Habitual mouth breathing
Tips to promote nasal breathing:
- In infants – Tummy time! (see our Tummy time video here)
- In older children – blow bubbles and pinwheels, practicing a big nasal inhale before exhaling!
If your child would benefit from orofacial myofunctional therapy, check our this webpage to learn more or click here (for Cary) and here (for Durham) to fill out an initial inquiry form to set up a free consultation call! We have therapists at our Durham and Cary location who would love to be part of your team!