What Is a Mouth Breather Face (Adenoid Face)?
Normally, we should breathe through the nose, as it's laid by nature. However, many people experience difficulties with nose breathing due to various reasons. Nasal obstruction is caused by different disorders:
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
- Poor oral habits
So, what exactly is a mouth breather face? A mouth breather face has certain characteristics:
- A long and narrow face
- Gingival smile
- Double chin
- Poor definition between neck and chin
- Malocclusion (open bite, underbite)
- An open mouth with a vacant facial expression
- Narrow nostrils
- Bad posture
- Dark circles under eyes
As a result of an inability to nose breathe, people start breathing through the mouth, which eventually leads to long face syndrome. It's also called a mouth breather face, or adenoid face.
Enlarged adenoids are one of the most common reasons for mouth breathing in children. If not treated properly, this long-lasting mouth breathing leads to an adenoid face.
So, why may adenoids cause a mouth breather face?
Adenoids are small parts of lymphatic tissue. They're located in the upper airway, between the back of the throat and the nose. Sometimes due to viral or bacterial infections, allergies, or even acid reflux, adenoids are inflamed and enlarged.
When the ailment is quite serious, enlarged adenoids trigger nasal obstruction. Thus, when people simply can't breathe through the nose for a while, mouth breathing becomes a habit. It's vital to get rid of mouth breathing for healthy respiration and normal face shape.
Does Mouth-Breathing Change Your Face?
Mouth breathing effects on the face are usually very noticeable, since the whole facial aesthetic changes.
- Long narrow face, with thin nostrils and mouth. When the mouth is constantly open to breathe, the whole face is dragged down. The permanent open-mouth facial position makes it long and narrow, with a vacant expression. It also narrows down the nostrils, as they stop functioning properly.
- Double chin with a poorly noticeable jawline. The jaw muscles of a mouth breather weaken and the jawline sets back. It happens because mouth breathing makes proper tongue posture (at the roof of the mouth) impossible. Thus, the maxilla (upper jaw bone) gets narrow, and the lower jaw loses muscle support and drags down.
- Flat cheekbones and lower eye sockets with dark circles. An underdeveloped maxilla also influences the cheekbones and eye sockets. Their positioning on the face depends on the maxilla and zygomatic bone (the one that forms a cheekbone). When the maxilla is narrow from mouth breathing, cheekbones and eye sockets appear to drop down. Thus, creating a tired look with dark circles under the eyes.
- Gummy smile and malocclusion. Poorly developed jaw bones and muscles inevitably lead to teeth and bite problems. As a result of mouth breathing, narrow jaws can't properly fit the teeth, so they get crooked and crowded. Thus, malocclusions like underbites and crossbites are common issues for mouth breathers.
What Does Mouth Breather Face (long face syndrome) Look Like?
The facial and overall changes that mouth breathing causes are a subject of study for modern researchers. Medicine researchers figured out that mouth breathing causes functional transformations in tongue position. Also in oral and perioral muscular balance, and head and neck posture. Such changes lead to a distorted face structure and should be treated as soon as possible. Especially taking into account that adenoid faces mostly manifest in childhood.
Mouth Breather Face Shape
A mouth breather's face features:
- A constantly open mouth to breathe, creating an elongated face
- Smaller mouth and narrow nostrils, complicating nose breathing
- A gingival smile (with gums showing)
- Narrow maxilla with anterior tongue position
- The poor definition between the neck and chin
- A vacant facial expression due to a hanging lower jaw
- A serious malocclusion, such as crowded teeth, underbite, or crossbite
Mouth Breather vs Nose Breather Face
There's an apparent difference between a mouth breather and a nose breather face. Here are the main distinctive features.
Nose breather face features:
- Proper posture
- Poor posture
- Functioning airways
- Blocked nasal airway
- Tongue is pressed to the roof of the mouth
- Tongue rests at the bottom of the mouth
- Defined jawline and fit neck
Mouth breather face features:
- Double chin and neck fat
- Normal mouth and teeth formation
- Malocclusion and crowded teeth
- Wide maxilla
- Narrow maxilla
- Proportional face structure
- Distorted face structure
- Gently sealed lips
- Open mouth with a vacant facial expression
Mouth Breather Face and Tongue Posture
First of all, proper tongue posture is when the tongue rests on the roof of the mouth. It's a natural tongue position that helps to maintain good posture, face shape, and respiration. However, mouth breathers find it impossible to keep the right tongue posture. Because resting at the roof of the mouth the tongue complicates mouth breathing.
It's crucial to find out the underlying cause of mouth breathing and fix it with the help of a specialist. Then, practice nose breathing as much as possible. After all, fix your tongue posture to start the process of the mouth breather face transforming into a proportional face shape. Correct tongue posture promotes expanding the maxilla. Also, moving it forward, not dragging it down as the mouth-breathing habit does.
How to Fix Mouth Breather Face, Adenoid Face or Long Face Syndrome
It's never too late to let go of bad habits and mouth breathing is no exception. Sure, fixing a mouth breather face can be quite a challenge. If you're an adult who's been mouth-breathing for a long time, it's a bit harder than fixing it in childhood. Yet, adults are more responsible and sensible when it comes to health issues.
So to fix a mouth-breather face you just need to pick the right methods and make it a daily routine.
Apart from a medical treatment of the root causes of mouth breathing, there is mewing and myofunctional therapy. These are at-home remedies you can perform daily to improve facial aesthetics and posture. Both of them have proper tongue posture as a base, yet let's review them closer.
Myofunctional therapy is a kind of treatment focusing on the facial muscles. This approach includes exercises to improve muscle function and work on eliminating bad oral habits. It makes myofunctional therapy a great method to deal with mouth breather face.
According to Myfaceology, myofunctional therapy bases on four main goals:
As a natural way of breathing, it helps to properly oxygenate the whole body, and filter and warm the air we breathe. Thus, protecting us from inhaling harmful particles.
Open mouth while mouth breathing not only harms the jaw muscles but also triggers tooth decay, dry mouth, and snoring. Therefore, myofunctional therapy suggests keeping your lips sealed, especially during sleep. Such remedies as mouth strips or tape can come in handy.
3.Proper tongue posture.
Myofunctional therapy promotes keeping your tongue up against the roof of the mouth. This position provides adequate support for the upper jaw and improves overall facial appearance.
When swallowing your tongue should still stay at the roof of the mouth. If you have tongue thrust, and it pushes forward when swallowing, then try myofunctional exercises.
Mewing appears to be one of the components of myofunctional therapy. As it involves keeping the correct tongue posture and breathing through the nose. The goal of mewing is to improve the facial structure, get a defined face oval, or in other words - fix the mouth-breather face effect. If you wonder how to mew properly, the key is to keep your tongue at the roof of the mouth as much as possible.
When mewing becomes an indispensable part of your routine, come noticeable improvements. Such as:
- Better posture
- Chiseled jawline
- Tighter chin and neck skin
- Defined cheekbones
Adenoid Face Before and After
The internet is full of before and after pictures of people who have successfully improved their facial structure. Including adults, there are wonderful cases of fixing an adenoid face.
Q: Can mouth breathing change your face?
Yes, it can, and it does. Mouth breathing alters facial aesthetics a lot. It happens due to poor tongue posture, obstructed airway, and malocclusion. Leading to a narrow face with a vacant expression, open mouth, crooked teeth, dark circles under the eyes, etc.
Q: How do I know if I am a mouth breather?
Sometimes you may not realize you're a mouth breather, especially when it happens during sleep. However, such symptoms as snoring, low energy level, dark circles under the eyes, and a long face with an open mouth may be a signal that you're a mouth breather.
Q: How can I stop being a mouth breather?
First of all, you need to find out the root cause of mouth breathing with a physician. Since mouth breathing can be a result of allergies, sinusitis, enlarged adenoids, etc. Then try your best to start nose breathing as much as possible. Then fix your tongue posture - the tongue should rest at the roof of the mouth.
Q: Can mouth breathing face be reversed in adults?
Yes, mouth breathing can be fixed in adults, although it may take more time, especially if you've been mouth breathing for a long time. Yet, adults often show even better results than children. Due to their level of responsibility and strong will to improve their appearance.
Q: How to fix a mouth-breather face?
After finding out the root causes of mouth breathing, it's great to combine mewing and more facial exercises to get the best results. Proper tongue posture, facial gymnastics, and active chewing recommended by Dr. Mew can be of great help to fix a mouth-breather face.
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