3

votes

Mouth breathing - a Neolithic disease?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 30, 2012 at 4:40 AM

I grew up as a mouth breather. I don't recall being taught to or having trouble breathing through my nose I was just a mouth breather. This habit, unfortunately, seems to cause all kinds of facial developmental problems. It seems like it should have been a problem that our ancestors faced and something that should have been selected out long ago. Am I missing something?

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 30, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Wow, that does sound like quite a process. I also found this interesting, "If adult foods is introduced prematurely, the baby will develop allergies, ear infections, tonsillitis, and mouth breathing. Mouth breathing from food or environmental allergies will retard jaw and facial development by the Law of Form & Function in reverse." http://www.mommypotamus.com/epigewhat-how-facial-structure-affects-your-childs-health ... also some discussion on epigenetics, which I find kind of interesting.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 30, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Maybe because seals sleep all day? :)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 30, 2012
at 07:13 PM

Maybe allergies or some blockage that cause nose breathing to be difficult during very early childhood?

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 30, 2012
at 06:46 PM

I agree it's useful. I wonder what causes us to learn to breath primarily through our mouths?

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 30, 2012
at 06:45 PM

Great article - thanks! It doesn't really answer how evolution allowed these problems, though it suggests that maybe dairy had something to do with it. My case is atypical though also common - my jaw is overdeveloped, which happened in my late teens. Wonder if pulling back is the answer now? Dentist wants to do corrective jaw surgery, a 2 year process with braces and crowns and 24/7 splints. Ick!

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 30, 2012
at 06:37 PM

I think the etiology is the high arch allows for the tongue to fall back while sleeping partially blocking the airway. At least I think that's my problem. Interestingly, seals all suffer from OSA but seem to have developed resistance to the effects.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on November 30, 2012
at 04:18 PM

Correlation =/= causation. Plenty of nose breathers suffer from sleep apnea.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 30, 2012
at 05:20 AM

High arch, sleep apnea, tmj

42cd0feeeda5fa2e2fe1c4fd8255073a

(1930)

on November 30, 2012
at 05:15 AM

what do you mean by facial developmental problems?

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2 Answers

2
Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 30, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Interesting thoughts, it reminds of Weston A. Price's findings with face structure differences between traditional and modernized eating folks, where the modernized folks had narrower faces and smaller mouths.

This info would also seem to support your idea it's a degeneration.

Is it Mental or is it Dental?

A mouth breather will not be humidifying the air, or slowing it down to allow the proper mixing of NO with it. The lungs will have difficulty providing maximum oxygenation for the body with this dry, unhumidified, unfiltered and, most importantly, NO-lacking air. This constant and chronic condition affects the cardiovascular system and the heart because the smooth muscles that line all of the arteries react to this poorly oxygenated air with a kind of tightness, a kind of permanent tension, which can be very stressful and depleting to the body. Furthermore it has been clinically shown that blocking NO production in healthy individuals results in moderate hypertension and reduced heart output as well as shortened bleeding times by activation of platelet blood-clotting factors.

Due to the lack of proper oxygenation, the ability to deliver fully oxygenated blood to the cells is also much reduced. Thus mouth breathing has a negative effect on every cell in the body as it deprives them of oxygen. Overall wellness and health requires proper oxygen as every particle of our being requires oxygen. Cancer cells, by the way, are anaerobic by design. Other manifestations of mouth breathing include snoring and cessation of breathing (also known as sleep apnea), some types of headaches, hypertension without other known clinical causes, bed wetting, chronic ear or sinus infections, TMJ pain, sleep disorders and dark patches under the eyes.

Cbdc8318738324492f2d5918868ce4c9

(1211)

on November 30, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Wow, that does sound like quite a process. I also found this interesting, "If adult foods is introduced prematurely, the baby will develop allergies, ear infections, tonsillitis, and mouth breathing. Mouth breathing from food or environmental allergies will retard jaw and facial development by the Law of Form & Function in reverse." http://www.mommypotamus.com/epigewhat-how-facial-structure-affects-your-childs-health ... also some discussion on epigenetics, which I find kind of interesting.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 30, 2012
at 06:45 PM

Great article - thanks! It doesn't really answer how evolution allowed these problems, though it suggests that maybe dairy had something to do with it. My case is atypical though also common - my jaw is overdeveloped, which happened in my late teens. Wonder if pulling back is the answer now? Dentist wants to do corrective jaw surgery, a 2 year process with braces and crowns and 24/7 splints. Ick!

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 30, 2012
at 01:51 PM

As far as I can tell the evolutionary advantage to having redundant breathing systems are four-fold:

  1. Breathing through the nose allows the person to use the mouth continuously (i.e. eating) without suffocating

  2. Breathing via the mouth has a distinct advantage in terms of volume. While running, breathing in the nose and out the mouth would allow for faster running, more efficient recovery.

  3. Redundancy if one gets clogged (i.e. choking or a date or broken nose or allergies)

  4. The value of having linked receptors for smell and taste require the systems to be interconnected.

My opinion are that #2 and #4 are the most likely advantages that would provide a means for evolutionary adaptation of both.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on November 30, 2012
at 06:46 PM

I agree it's useful. I wonder what causes us to learn to breath primarily through our mouths?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 30, 2012
at 07:13 PM

Maybe allergies or some blockage that cause nose breathing to be difficult during very early childhood?

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