Breathing with the mouth is a possibility that human beings have. Breathing with your nose or mouth is not regarded as being the same thing, from a functional point of view.
During nasal breathing, the tongue rests on the surface of the palate, the lips are in contact and the jaw is correctly positioned with respect to the upper jaw.
In childhood, mainly due to the hypertrophy of adeno-tonsillular lymphatic tissue or due to allergic conditions, frequent and chronic oral or mixed breathing conditions are commonly encountered. For these children, the wings of the nose are hypotonic, the sclera of the eyes is exposed, the labial seal is absent, the palate is almost always tight, due to the lack of placement of the tongue at rest, the gums are inflamed due to the unnatural contact with the air, the teeth have more cavities, the jaw is retracted, the chin muscles are weak.
Educating children and families on the importance of nasal breathing is paramount, introducing the principles of nasal washing and teaching the younger to blow their nose properly.
In case of suspected major respiratory problems, such as night-time snoring, parents should seek otorhinolaryngologic advice.
After the first years of a child’s life, recovering the function of nasal breathing may be more difficult, even in the presence of favorable anatomic conditions, due to the behavioral acquisition of oral breathing.
For this reason, early awareness of the problem is paramount.