Mouth Breathing causes Forward Head Posture


mouth breathing and forward head posture


Mouth breathing causes forward head posture. The head is positioned forward to get the tongue out of the throat for easier breathing. During mouth breathing the head needs to move forward to open the airway due to a small obstructed airway caused by a reverse lower jaw position. Breathing and posture problems are caused by reverse lower jaw position, a small mouth and the tongue too close to the throat. Moving the head forward opens the airway by changing neck posture. The change in neck posture allows for the tongue to be positioned further away from the throat by moving the neck instead of advancing the lower jaw. The entire point is to get the tongue away from the throat for unobstructed breathing.


Forward Head Posture and Mouth Breather Facial Profile


forward head posture and airway obstruction


When the lower jaw is in a reverse position the tongue is closer to the throat and airway. The tongue is the only major moving part in the mouth and when it lives close to the throat it causes airway resistance and breathing problems. People quite literally move the head forward to get the tongue out of the throat. They also open their mouths because more air will flow through the mouth than the nose. The mouth is a bigger hole and more air is needed when the upper airway is blocked by the tongue.


Mouth Breather Face and Bad Facial Profile


mouth breathing face


Mouth breathing conditions causes a change in facial and breathing muscle patterns. Mouth breathers quite literally use different muscle patterns to breathe than nose breathers. The change in function causes structural changes to the face and the appearance is unattractive. There are also changes in shape to bones in the jaws, head, neck and back. But lets look at the face first.


Facial Asymmetry and Overall Posture and Alignment



Mouth breathing can cause facial asymmetries that can be corrected. No one person has a perfectly symmetric face, but imbalanced structure leads to poor function. Just like a fish swims from the head down, so walks the human from the head down. People with facial asymmetries also have shoulders and hips that are also not level. In fact usually everything is out of alignment when facial imbalances are present. This is especially true when the eye levels and corners of the mouth are of left to right. See above and below. Facial asymmetries can be correct with DNA appliances and Homeoblock devices.

Articles about the Vivos DNA Appliance:

  1. DNA and Homeoblock Comparison 
  2. Adult Palatal Expanders vs Sleep Apnea Surgery
  3. How to Clean the DNA Appliance
  4. How often should the DNA Appliance be expanded


Correct Facial Asymmetry with DNA & Homeoblock Appliances


YouTube video


Facial Asymmetry Causes Shoulder and Hip Misalignment


tmj bad posture link


When we see these pronounced asymmetric posture patterns there is usually significant dysfunction and discomfort. We treat these problems with combined posture correction, palatal expanders and myofunctional therapy.


Treatment Video at TMJ Sleep and Breath Center


YouTube video


Poor Growth Causes Airway and Posture Problems


Pressure from facial and chewing muscles and the tongue causes the jaws and face to grow to a proper size and shape. Mouth breathing uses dysfunctional muscle patterns compared to nose breathing. The dysfunctional patterns can literally ruin facial profile and esthetics. This is the cause of mouth breather face. Basically dysfunctional muscle pressure shapes the face into an ugly reverse profile.

When the mouth is left open to breathe, the muscles in the cheeks become tight and apply a backwards force on the teeth, jaws and facial structure. The cheek muscles put an external force on the upper and lower jaws, which creates a narrowing effect on the upper and lower jaws and the face.  The lip muscles also exert a reverse pressure and pulls the jaws back. These forces resist outward growth of the face.

Usually during growth, the tongue exerts a light outward forces during chewing and talking. The tongue and pressure gently expands the jaws. When there is mouth breathing and a soft diet, all bets are off.


The TMJ Sleep and Breathing Treatment Protocol


Airway problems including sleep apnea, mouth breathing and upper airway resistance syndrome cause a variety of painful problems. Treating the root cause of these problems is what The TMJ Sleep and Breath Center is all about. Conditions related to TMJ dysfunction and bad head, neck and back posture include:


  1. Forward head posture
  2. Facial Asymmetry
  3. Poor Facial Profile or Mouth Breather Face
  4. Other skeletal asymmetries including shoulders, pelvis, knees and spine
  5. Tied Tongue
  6. Mouth Breathing


TMJ pain and posture problems can be corrected with a combination of palatal expanders, breathing exercises, chiropractic posture correction and myofunctional therapy. This is what The TMJ Sleep and Breathe Center is all about. There are treatments that can permanently cure TMJ.


Combined Posture Breathing Sleep and TMJ Correction Protocol


Dr Viet Le and Dr Gary Adams have partnered in creating a unique protocol to treat patients with airway, sleep, TMJ and posture problems. Airway problems have a unique impact where the skills of a highly trained dentist and chiropractor become necessary. In this protocol, Dr. Le’s expertise in correcting posture and Dr. Adams expertise in orthodontic expanders work hand in hand.

Dr. Le and Dr. Adams are very passionate about their combined protocol. Airway problems are the root cause of many pathological conditions both structural and physiological. Most of our patients are suffering from painful symptoms such as jaw, neck and back pain. They may clench their teeth and sleep poorly. These problems are structural. Poor sleep over time  causes immunological, metabolic and cardiovascular problems. Many of our adult patients not only have painful symptoms, but they are very sick and are in need of medical support.

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