Nose Breathing for Health
A common disorder familiar to the public is “tongue thrust", where the tongue rests against or between the front or side teeth during swallowing rather than lifting up into the palate (roof of the mouth).
Tongue thrusting frequently occurs with a low, forward resting posture of the tongue, with a lips apart posture. Just as the controlled continuous forces of orthodontic appliances (braces) can move teeth, abnormal postures and functions in the oral cavity can contribute to the development of dental malocclusions such as incorrectly positioned teeth, an improper bite relationship or other problems related to oral or facial muscle dysfunction or a malformation of the bones of the dental arches.
I struggled for years to get help for my daughter's tongue thrust that I diagnosed at 2 years of age.
Her teeth are a mess at 7 and I finally found an orthodontist that believes in and treats the condition prior to braces so I don't waste my money on dental correction only to have it undone by the tongue thrust (like my sister). Tongue thrust tends to run in families.
Here are some links to information I share with parents.
My Daughter Before
My Daughter After
Mouth Breathing-- Adenoid Facies
Many People do not realize the impact mouth breathing has on the face of a child whose bone structure is still developing .For many kids, their face will morph into a crescent moon profile or "long-face" shape.
I have personally witnessed this in a set of twins. One a mouth breather, one not.
The difference in their face shape was shocking and happened so slowly over the years that it went unnoticed. If you suspect mouth breathing, refer the child to the nurse to refer to the ENT. If you don't have a process in place for this in your school, consider being the one to advocate for it. The links below can explain this better and will help you to understand what this condition can do to a child's face. It is called Adenoid Facies
Sleep Disordered Breathing
Approximately 42 Million American Adults have Sleep Disordered Breathing
Sleep Disordered Breathing describes a number of breathing disorders.
One example is
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
OSA affects more men than women, people with obesity, hypertension, excessive alcohol use, smokers, upper airway or facial abnormalities, and more.
Morning headaches, forgetfulness, moodiness, waking up tired, depression, restless sleep, Loud or chronic snoring.
Sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues over time including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain.
For more information you can read this article by Karen Wuertz DDS
This ASHA article has a good story for information about sleep disordered breathing in children.
"One of the tongue's biggest roles is to maintain the airway for breathing"
Waking multiple times