Brother and sister, same magnification. The effects of mouth breathing and open mouth posture. The sister developed a tongue thrust, downward tongue posture as a result of mouth breathing.

Normal palate

Facial grimace during a moderate tongue thrust.

Forward tongue posture.

High arched palate

High-arched palate is a raised palate occurring from the absence of the tongue against the roof of the mouth during early development – the tongue does not have the opportunity to flatten out the palate. This may lead to breathing issues, malocclusion, difficulty creating pressure for eating certain foods, and misarticulated speech sounds. This condition is less likely to occur with the early development of a correct swallow pattern.

Mouth breathing is the result of a downward resting posture of the tongue and an open mouth posture for breathing. When occurring on a daily basis this will affect a patient’s overall health, body strength, posture and appearance. Provided there are no intervening medical causes, correcting a deviate swallow will allow for closing of the mouth to create nasal breathing. This can also be corrected after medical intervention such as the removal of tonsils and adenoids.

Swallowing difficulty is lacking the ability to swallow in a normalized pattern. This can hinder a person’s ability to breathe easily, eat, and speak correctly. Lacking proper mechanics will affect eating and diet, form of the teeth, stomach comfort, ear aches, and reflux. Swallowing difficulty also may result in excessive belching, stomach discomfort, and inability to swallow pills.

Facial grimace when swallowing occurs as a counter force to the tongue in a reverse or tongue thrust swallow pattern. It is a means to maintain the tongue in the mouth at the moment of swallow. The lips appear tight, and sometimes downward in the corners. Facial grimace can develop unwanted facial creases and lines over time. Individuals that do not create a facial grimace will often protrude the tongue through the lips at the time of swallow.

Tongue Posture or Protrusion of the tongue when in repose is seen when a patient is unable to maintain adequate lip closure. The tongue rests downward and forward in the mouth. This will impact the development of the front teeth. The tongue appears bulky and too large for the mouth (which it may not be) and affects general facial appearance. Generally, this is not a well-toned tongue and can also impact the clarity of speech.