Postural alterations and pulmonary function of mouth-breathing children

Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Nov-Dec;76(6):683-6. doi: 10.1590/S1808-86942010000600002.


Mouth-breathing children have changes in their stomatognathic system, which result in head projection, stress increase in the scapular belt muscles and postural adaptations. Although thoracic shape and posture can influence ventilatory dynamics, we didn't find studies addressing pulmonary function of mouth-breathing children.

Aims: this study aimed at analyzing the posture of mouth-breathing children, and studying the existence of correlations between posture and pulmonary volumes.

Material and methods: prospective, observational and cross-sectional study, where the posture and pulmonary function of 17 mouth-breathing children and of 17 nasal-breathing children were evaluated by means of photogrammetry and forced spirometry.

Results: when compared to nasal-breathing, mouth-breathing subjects presented an increment in head projection and cervical lordosis, forwarded gravity center and reduced pulmonary volumes. There was an association between head projection and forced vital capacity, and between postural alterations and age.

Conclusion: mouth-breathing children have postural alterations which increases with age and also reduced spirometry values. The vital capacity reduction correlates negatively with head projection.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Head / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lordosis / etiology
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mouth Breathing / physiopathology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration
  • Spirometry
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Vital Capacity / physiology