The Serious Health Effects of Mouth Breathing

Teeth and braces:

  • If your mouth is open, your braces will take longer and your treatment will be much more challenging for your orthodontist.
  • The spaces between your teeth will be more difficult to close and the stability of the alignment of your teeth will be compromised once your braces are removed.
  • This means you are likely to experience orthodontic relapse and you may need braces again in the future.


  • When children have an open mouth, they are more likely to struggle with certain speech sounds.
  • The most commonly associated speech problem is a lisp, or the inability to say “S” sounds correctly. Speech is affected because when you have an open mouth, you also have what we refer to as a “tongue thrust swallowing pattern.”
  • This type of swallowing pattern causes the tongue to protrude, or push forward during speaking and swallowing.

Facial growth and development:

  • t’s important to realize that growth is a very powerful force. A child with an open mouth will very likely grow into an adult with flatter facial features, less prominent cheekbones, a longer face, droopier eyes and lower facial muscle tone, a narrower palate, and even a smaller lower jaw in most cases.
  • By closing the mouth and breathing through the nose, these negative growth patterns can be prevented.

Sleep and oxygen:

  • When adults and children breathe through their mouths during the day, chances are very high that they also breathe through their mouths all night long as well.
  • Mouth breathing at night, combined with an obstructed airway, are two symptoms directly connected to sleep apnea and altered levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the bloodstream.
  • When less oxygen is able to reach the brain, learning and the ability to focus at school becomes a problem for many children. In adults, chronic fatigue, tiredness, and brain fog are common symptoms related to these issues.