You might think breathing through your mouth isn’t a big deal, but it actually is. A lot of us end up breathing through our mouth without even realizing it, which can significantly impact our overall health including but not limited to our airway health, quality of sleep, posture, heart health, dental health and even our facial structure. Myofunctional therapy aims to fix bad habits like breathing through the mouth, the low tongue posture and incorrect swallowing.

In this blog, we will learn more about mouth breathing, myofunctional therapy, the steps required to correct mouth breathing, and the benefits of combining myofunctional therapy with airway orthodontic treatments.

A] Understanding Mouth Breathing

1. The Mechanics of Breathing

Nasal breathing is the most natural way of breathing, as it filters, humidifies, and warms air before it reaches the lungs, promoting better lung health and immune system support through the production of nitric oxide. In contrast, mouth breathing can lead to airway problems, sleep disruptions, and orthodontic issues, as it bypasses the nose’s filtration system and allows harmful particles to enter the lungs directly, impacting overall well-being.

So, it’s time to re-evaluate breathing and figure out if you are breathing the right way. If you have been mouth breathing and wonder how it became the normal way of breathing, let’s take a look at the causes.

2. Causes of Mouth Breathing

Allergies and nasal congestion: Seasonal or environmental allergies, along with nasal congestion, can obstruct the nasal passages, leading individuals to rely on mouth breathing for adequate airflow.

Chronic sinusitis and deviated septum: Constant inflammation of the sinuses and a deviated nasal septum can restrict nasal breathing, prompting individuals to breathe through their mouths.

Enlarged adenoids or tonsils: In children, enlarged adenoids or tonsils can physically obstruct nasal airflow, making mouth breathing a necessity.

Habitual mouth breathing: Prolonged habits of breathing through the mouth, often developed in childhood, can become ingrained and continue into adulthood.

Tongue tie: Tongue tie can limit tongue movement, preventing the entire tongue to rest on the roof of the mouth and make it more challenging to breathe from the nose.

Narrow upper jaw: A narrow upper jaw can result in insufficient space for the tongue which causes the tongue to rest on the floor of the mouth. It also reduces the nasal space thereby causing deviated nasal septum, leading to mouth breathing.

Backwardly placed lower jaw: A lower jaw that is set too far back can restrict the airway and cause mouth breathing.

Low muscle tone: Weak oral muscles can contribute to poor tongue posture and mouth breathing, particularly during sleep or periods of relaxation.

B] Myofunctional Therapy

1. What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional therapy is a specialized treatment that corrects improper oral habits, focusing on the muscles of the face, mouth, and throat to promote proper breathing, swallowing, and speech. It addresses issues like mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, and incorrect swallowing patterns to ensure optimal oral function. These oral muscles are essential for proper breathing and facial development, impacting airway openness and facial aesthetics.

2. Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy

Improvement in nasal breathing:

Myofunctional therapy helps individuals transition from mouth breathing to proper nasal breathing. By addressing underlying issues like allergies, sinusitis, or structural abnormalities, the therapy improves airflow through the nose, enhancing respiratory health and overall oxygenation.

Improved tongue posture:

Myofunctional therapy focuses on retraining the tongue to rest against the palate instead of the floor of the mouth. This proper tongue posture not only aids in breathing but also plays a crucial role in dental and facial development, preventing issues like open bites and narrow jaws.

Correcting oral posture and muscle imbalances:

The therapy targets oral muscles to correct imbalances and dysfunctions that may have developed due to habits like mouth breathing or improper swallowing. This helps create a more stable and balanced oral environment.

Positive effects on speech, swallowing, and facial aesthetics:

Myofunctional therapy can lead to improved speech clarity, as proper tongue movements support articulate speech. Additionally, it aids in proper swallowing patterns, preventing issues like tongue thrusting. As a result, the therapy can positively impact facial aesthetics by promoting balanced growth and development.

C] Steps to Correct Mouth Breathing with Myofunctional Therapy

If you are wondering how to correct mouth breathing, here are some steps you can take to breathing naturally through our nostrils.

1. Evaluation and Diagnosis

The first step is an initial assessment by a qualified myofunctional therapist. The therapist will conduct an evaluation of oral habits, swallowing patterns, and tongue posture to identify any dysfunctional patterns that contribute to mouth breathing.

The therapist will also review the patient’s medical history and may request imaging or consultations with other healthcare professionals to understand the underlying causes of mouth breathing.

2. Breath Retraining

Many people mistakenly assume that myofunctional therapy is nasal breathing exercises, however that’s not the case. Nasal breathing exercises are just one component of myofunctional therapy that helps individuals gradually shift from mouth breathing to the natural and beneficial practice of breathing through the nose.

Myofunctional therapy employs some breath retraining techniques to promote nasal breathing and strengthen the nasal airway. Patients are taught various exercises to enhance their ability to breathe through their nose effectively.


These techniques may include breathwork exercises, such as:

Deep diaphragmatic breathing: Improves lung capacity and facilitates proper airflow through the nose.

Nose-only breathing: Helps train your body to breathe through your nose even when it is blocked.

Mouth taping: This is a simple technique that can help to keep your mouth closed while you sleep.

Nasal dilators: Nasal dilators are devices that help to open the nasal passages.

3. Oral Muscles Strengthening

The next step involves exercises to improve tongue posture and strengthen tongue muscles, promoting nasal breathing and proper oral function. Additionally, techniques for lip and cheek muscle control are introduced to ensure balanced oral muscle function. With consistent practice and guidance from a myofunctional therapist, individuals develop stronger oral muscles, leading to improved habits, breathing, and facial development.

4. Swallowing and Chewing Rehabilitation

Myofunctional therapy also corrects abnormal swallowing patterns, like tongue thrusting and open-mouth swallowing, by retraining the reflex for a more functional pattern. The therapy also enhances oral motor skills for proper chewing, improving jaw strength and coordination. These interventions lead to better oral health, digestion, and overall well-being. Consistent practice and guidance enable individuals to achieve a healthier and more efficient oral function.

5. Habit Correction and Lifestyle Changes

One of the most prominent questions in your mind right now would be, “Can you reverse mouth breathing effects? Is it even possible?” Yes, it is possible to gradually break the habit of mouth breathing and embrace the natural and beneficial practice of nasal breathing. It can be done with the help of Myofunctional therapy. Furthermore, you would have to make some lifestyle changes as well.

Listed below are a few habit corrections and lifestyle changes that will improve your respiratory health and overall well-being.

Use a humidifier to keep your nasal passages moist and prevent dryness by using a humidifier.

Take a warm shower. It can open your nasal passages and loosen mucus by taking a warm shower.

Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids can keep your nasal passages moist and prevent them from drying out.

Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, as it can irritate the nasal passages, making it difficult to breathe through the nose.

Stress can hinder nasal breathing; incorporating healthy stress management practices like exercise, relaxation techniques, or spending time in nature can help to promote better nasal airflow.

6. Myofunctional Exercises For Tongue Tie Release

There are a number of myofunctional exercises for tongue tie release that can help to strengthen the muscles that hold the tongue in the roof of the mouth, which can help to keep the airway open and prevent mouth breathing.

Some of the most common myofunctional exercises for promoting nasal breathing include:

Tongue-to-palate press: Start by pressing the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth. Hold the tongue in this position for 5-10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Tongue sweeps: Star by sweeping the tongue from side to side across the roof of the mouth. Start at the back of the tongue and sweep it forward, then repeat from the front to the back. Repeat 10 times.

Lip seal: Start by sealing the lips together and keeping them closed. Hold the lips in this position for 5-10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

7. Airway Orthodontics For Improving Jaw Structure

Airway orthodontics is a specialized approach that focuses on improving jaw structure and function by addressing airway issues. It focuses on the relationship between breathing and facial development with the objective to expand the upper jaw, bring the lower jaw forward and promote proper tongue posture.

This not only enhances nasal breathing but also facilitates optimal jaw growth, leading to improved facial aesthetics and overall oral health. Airway orthodontics can be beneficial for individuals with breathing difficulties and orthodontic concerns.

Combining Myofunctional Therapy with Orthodontic Treatments

Combining myofunctional therapy with orthodontic treatments offers a balanced and interconnected approach to comprehensive oral care. Myofunctional therapy addresses correcting oral posture and muscle imbalances, which aligns with the goals of orthodontics in preventing a relapse in proper teeth alignment and bite.

This dual approach ensures not only improved nasal breathing and dental health but also a more lasting and aesthetically pleasing outcome for patients, creating a harmonious connection between orofacial function and orthodontic results.


Seeking professional guidance from a myofunctional therapist experienced with airway orthodontics can unlock the path to retraining oral muscles, improving dental health, tongue posture, and transitioning to proper nasal breathing. So, If you’re interested in experiencing the combined benefits of myofunctional therapy & airway orthodontic treatments, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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