Tongue pressure measurement in children with mouth-breathing behaviour

J Oral Rehabil. 2018 Aug;45(8):612-617. doi: 10.1111/joor.12653. Epub 2018 Jun 10.


The tongue plays an important role in oral functions. Reduced tongue strength is often noted among children with mouth-breathing behaviour. The purposes of this study were to measure the tongue pressure in children with mouth-breathing behaviour, to compare these values to those of children with nasal-breathing behaviour and to analyse the relationship between age and tongue pressure in children with a mouth-breathing pattern and in children with a nasal-breathing pattern. In this cross-sectional analytical observational study, we enroled 40 children aged 5-12 years who either exhibited mouth-breathing behaviour (n = 20) or nasal-breathing behaviour (gender- and age-matched [±2 years] controls; n = 20). Tongue pressure was evaluated using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument; 3 measurements were recorded for each participant, with a 30-seconds rest interval. The average tongue pressure in the mouth-breathing group was lower than that in the nasal-breathing group. There was no difference in tongue pressure between genders. There was a strong and direct correlation between tongue pressure and age in the nasal-breathing group. The breathing pattern impacts tongue pressure development.

Keywords: child; mouth breathing; muscle strength; myofunctional therapy; respiration; tongue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mouth Breathing / physiopathology*
  • Palate, Hard / physiology*
  • Pressure
  • Tongue / physiology*