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What The Shape of Your Face Shape Says About Your Airway Health

Do you know that the shape of your face can tell a lot about your airway health? Yes, that’s right! Your facial structure and features can provide significant clues about how you breathe and the potential health issues you may face. In this blog post, we’ll explore how mouth breathing can change your facial structure and what it means for your airway health.

The Correct Way to Breathe

Breathing is an essential function that keeps our bodies functioning properly. However, it’s not just about taking air in and out of your lungs. The way you breathe matters too! Breathing through your nose is the correct way to breathe, as your nose filters, warms, and moisturizes the air, making it easier for your lungs to absorb it. Nasal breathing also engages your diaphragm, helping to improve oxygen uptake and overall respiratory efficiency.

Mouth Breathing Can Change Facial Structure

Mouth breathing, on the other hand, can significantly impact your facial structure. When you breathe through your mouth, you don’t engage the muscles in your face and mouth that help to support the structure of your upper airway, including the nasal passage, the tonsils, and the adenoids. These muscles are responsible for holding your airway open and maintaining its shape.

When these muscles don’t work correctly, an imbalance can occur, causing the face to develop a different shape. For example, people who breathe through their mouths often develop a long, narrow face, a high palate, and a narrow jaw. This is often seen with enlarged adenoids.  The muscles responsible for supporting the upper airway aren’t adequately engaged, and the tongue falls back into the throat, narrowing the airway.

Research has shown that mouth breathing can change your facial structure as early as age 5. Mouth breathing can cause the lower jaw to develop backwardly, which can lead to a lack of room for the tongue in the mouth. A lack of space for the tongue can narrow the airway, and may result in snoring, sleep apnea, and other health problems.

It has also been shown that an underbite, where the lower jaw is in front of the top jaw, is caused by jutting the lower jaw forward to open the airway.  This will lead to an upper jaw that is too small, and a lower jaw that doesn’t fit against it.  This can be a result of enlarged tonsils.

Other Side Effects of Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing can cause other side effects too, including:

  • Dry mouth and throat: Breathing through the mouth dries out the saliva and causes a dry mouth and throat, leading to a higher risk of cavities and gum disease.
  • Sleep issues: Mouth breathing can make it difficult to breathe while sleeping, leading to snoring, sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness.
  • Bad breath: Mouth breathing reduces the flow of saliva, which helps to clean the mouth and keep it fresh. This can lead to bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

Breathe Better Treatments

Fortunately, there are treatments available to help you breathe better, whether you’re a child or an adult.

For Children

Identifying and treating mouth breathing early on can help prevent future airway issues. Myofunctional therapy is one approach that can help children develop proper breathing techniques and strengthen the muscles in the face and mouth.

For Adults

Identifying and treating airway issues can improve overall health and quality of life. Treatments such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and oral appliances can help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea and improve sleep quality.

Your facial structure and features can provide significant clues about your airway health. Mouth breathing can cause changes in your facial structure and lead to a variety of health issues, including sleep apnea, snoring, and daytime sleepiness. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help you breathe better and improve your overall health and quality of life.

When you schedule a consultation with us, our team of experts will take the time to get to know you, understand your concerns, and perform a comprehensive evaluation of your airway health. We’ll discuss your medical history, and any symptoms you’re experiencing, and perform diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of your airway issues.

From there, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and addresses your specific needs. Our goal is to help you breathe better, sleep better, and improve your overall health and well-being.

Schedule a Consultation

At Untethered Airway Health Center, we’re committed to providing personalized, compassionate care to help you achieve optimal airway health. Whether you’re in Lakewood, CO, or anywhere else, we offer virtual appointments to provide convenient access to our services. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards better airway health.

Want to learn more about sleep and airway health? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders.

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