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Postural Implications of Chronic Mouth-Breathing

Children who are chronic mouth breathers will tend to have a head tilted or pitched backwards. Any head posture where the head is not held level will have an influence on the shape, size and position of all the bones in the cranium.
Change in head posture and dentition in a boy treated only with a Trainer for one year to establish nasal breathing and improved myofunctional patterns. Note the head is no longer tipped or pitched backwards when nasal breathing is established.
The shape of the cranium in the growing child will be distorted when the cranium is not held level. The adult cranium weighs between 4-5 Kg, the child’s cranium a little less, and it contains largely water. If the head is not held level then there will be an increased mass of cranial contents on the downhill side leading to cranial distortion. The cranium consists of twenty nine different bones separated by sutures. If there is distortion in any bone in the cranium it will be reflected in all bones in the cranium including the upper and lower jaws.

In the mouth breathing child the head is pitched or tilted backwards increasing the mass of cranial contents in the posterior part of the cranium. If the child is able to improve the cranial posture by establishing nasal breathing then the cranium will have the opportunity to grow with a more favourable pattern. This improved pattern will be reflected throughout the cranium including the dental arches.

There is no distortion in one part of the body that is not reflected throughout the body. For a level cranium we need level shoulders, a level pelvis and this requires good foot support.
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