Mouth Respiration in Kids, Babies, Toddlers, and Infants
"Baby sleeps with mouth open"
Their causes, effects, treatment, and prevention
Children (including babies, toddlers, infants and newborn) who are mouth breathers experience the same pathological effects of mouth breathing as adults. These effects include abnormalities in blood gases, cell hypoxia (reduced body and brain oxygen content), reduced perfusion of all vital organs, suppressed immune system and many other "adult" effects. Apart from this, there are specific dental effects related to children and their developmental dynamic. Mouth breathing in children, as many studies showed, leads to permanent structural changes in the shape of the face. After years of mouth breathing, the jaws become protruded forward. Therefore, parents and care-takes must be concerned about mouth breathing in children and when seeing that their "baby sleeps with mouth open".
You may read abstracts of these studies on the separate page here. Here are their titles:
- Prevalence of malocclusion among mouth breathing children: do expectations meet reality? (Souki et al, 2009)
- Etiology, clinical manifestations and concurrent findings in mouth-breathing children (Abreu et al, 2008)
- Relationship between mouth breathing and postural alterations of children: a descriptive analysis (Krakauer et al, 2000)
- Radiological evaluation of facial types in mouth breathing children: a retrospective study (Costa et al, 2008)
- Indicative factors of early facial aging in mouth breathing adults (Oliveira et al, 2007)
- Prevalence of oral malodor and the relationship with habitual mouth breathing in children (Kanehira et al, 2004)
- A comparative study of effects of mouth breathing and normal breathing on gingival health in children (Gulati, 1998)
- The negative effect of mouth breathing on the body and development of the child (Flutter, 2006)
Mouth breathing in adults remains one of two factors contributing to mortality in the severely sick due to chronic diseases. Statistically, early morning hours (from about 4 to 7 am) have the highest death toll due to heart attacks or anginas, strokes, seizures, asthma attacks and many other acute episodes. This phenomenon and related medical articles are discussed on the web page "Sleep Heavy Breathing Effect".
Is there any therapy or organized group of medical professionals who provide techniques to stop mouth breathing in adults, children, babies, toddlers, infants and newborn, and who demand nose breathing as a necessary quality of good health? To my knowledge, there is only one medical therapy that provides solutions and techniques for mouth breathing problems in adults and children of all ages, including newborns and infants. This therapy also considers and demands nose breathing 24/7 as a crucial factor for health and wellbeing. It has been practiced by over 200 MDs in the USSR and Russia and was developed by leading Soviet physiologist Dr. K. Buteyko. It is known as the Buteyko breathing method.
Mouth breathing in infants, babies, toddlers, and children
- Malocclusion - Higher levels of Gingival index - Allergic rhinitis - Enlarged adenoids and tonsils - Constipation - Obstructive deviation of the nasal septum - Postural alterations - Facial changes (long face, half-open mouth and increased anterior facial height) - Oral malodor.
(Article abstracts related to these medical research findings are also provided below.)
Photo. Dr Konstantin Buteyko, leading Soviet physiologist, MD, PhD with a child (1980s)
Typical clinical manifestations in children, toddlers, and infants, who are mouth breathers
- Sleeping with mouth open - Snoring - Itchy nose and nose obstruction - Drooling on the pillow - Nocturnal sleep problems or agitated sleep - Constipation - Irritability during the day
Main causes of problems with nose breathing and poor health in children
- Over-feeding of children by parents - Sleeping on the back (newborn and infants should sleep on their back while tightly swaddled) - Mouth-breathing parents - Over-heating (wearing too much clothing) - Lack of physical activity (or exercise and activities done with mouth open) - Eating junk food and having a lack of essential nutrients in diet (fish oil, Ca, Mg, and Zn)
Mouth breathing in toddlers, babies, infants, and children can also intensify the development of any chronic pathology, including obesity, cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and many other conditions.
Hence, oral breathing promotes "adult" diseases in children. Breathing training is vital in order to experience all benefits of breathing normalization and nose breathing, and stop mouth breathing during the day time, sleep, play, and at all other times.
YouTube video: Mouth Breathing, Swaddling, Effects on Body O2.
How to treat and stop mouth respiration in kids, babies, toddlers, and infants
The main requirement for success in dealing with young mouth breathers, while using the Buteyko breathing method, is nose breathing parents and care takers who also understood and learned the Buteyko method and applied its techniques on themselves. The adults need to increase their brain and body oxygenation to at least 30 seconds. Only then, kids can learn, or rather copy, their parents' habits in relation to, for example, mouth taping during sleep, physical exercise performed with nose breathing only, and the use of other beneficial techniques and habits to increase body oxygen and to improve one's health.
Amazing bonus content
For further education, see the medical research article "Using the Buteyko Breathing Method For Children" (translation from Russian) written by Dr. Natalia Lapa, MD. The paper is provided below as your bonus content. Dr. Lapa was trained as a Buteyko breathing practitioner by Dr. Konstantin Buteyko himself. The paper was published in the book "Buteyko method. Its application in medical practice", ed. by K. P. Buteyko, 2nd ed., 1991, p. 57-62, Titul, Odessa, USSR.
References for this page: Mouth breathing in children - studies.
Related web pages:
- Croup cough- Overview of croup
- How to unblock the blocked nose - This article provides a Buteyko breathing exercise that can be used by adults and children
- How to maintain nose breathing 24/7 - Instructional Guide, which describe what to do at night during sleep to stop mouth breathing.*Children 3-4 years or older can follow and use many of these techniques, while infants (less than 3 years) require different methods and strategies (see the next article).
Here is the fantastic artilce (hidden right below here). It was written by Dr. Lapa, MD who taught thousands of children in Russia and England. The paper provides detailed instructions about how to teach easy nose breathing to children of three different age groups. You can unlock this bonus content by sharing the URL of this page on one of your social networks.
Go back to Buteyko pages
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