Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing - Breathing through the mouth usually due to obstruction to breathing through the nose

Breathing is an innate ability, one that is not taught. Unless we have respiratory issues, it’s something we take for granted and often forgotten. Breathing is such a simple concept yet so complex.

Have you ever sat for a quiet moment to think about how you breathe? As children we infer that eyes are for seeing, ears are for listening, the mouth is for eating, drinking and speaking, lastly the nose is for smelling. Where does the act of breathing fit in? Is it through the mouth or the nose? While reading this, how do you find yourself?

Mouth Breathing vs Nasal Breathing

Do you identify as someone with these symptoms?

Mouth Breathing Symptoms

  • Long face

  • Dark circles under the eyes

  • Crooked teeth

  • Stuffy nose

  • Recessed lower jaw

  • High vaulted palate

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

  • Flaccid/low tone tongue

  • Diminished taste

  • Bad breath

  • Dental decay

  • Brain fog

  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids

  • Reduced lung volume

  • Increased risk of sleeping issues

Did you know?

Fact 28,000-30,000 breaths per day

Four main factors that may cause mouth breathing

Tongue Tied

Fascia tissue present at birth located under the tongue restricting its mobility, which plays an important role in breathing, swallowing, sleeping, and speaking.

Airway Obstruction

Enlarged or inflamed adenoids/tonsils are glandular tissue on either side of the throat that can decrease the volume a person has in the airway to breathe correctly.

Breathing re-education is not commonly discussed after the removal of adenoids and tonsils. If the obstruction is removed but the habit of mouth breathing continues, relapse is common. Contrary to belief, it is possible for adenoids to grow back. Without proper breathing re-education, the habit of mouth breathing is a vicious cycle.

Learned Behavior

Kids are like sponges, they absorb everything. If they see their loved one’s mouth breathing, they could potentially mimic the behavior.


Learned behavior can also become a habit that occurs subconsciously. This tends to happen due to allergies, after a cold, or stuffy nose. Breathing through the mouth is easier when you are congested so over time this habit builds until corrected.

At Breathing Essentials Myofunctional Therapy we see how negative habits can be detrimental to everyday breathing. Quality of life can be enhanced simply by making small changes to the way you breathe.