Association between respiratory and postural adaptations and self-perception of school-aged children with mouth breathing in relation to their quality of life


Braz. J. Phys. Ther.




Objective: To investigate the respiratory and postural adaptations associated with mouth and nasal breathing and to evaluate the associations of such adaptations in mouth breathers' self-perceived quality of life. Method: Cross-sectional study with mouth breathers (initial n=116 and final n=48) and nasal breathers (initial n=131 and final n=24) from elementary school, aged between 7 and 14 years. Chest expansion, using cirtometry, the breathing pattern and the use of accessory muscles, by means of clinical evaluations and photogrammetry, and flexibility tests were evaluated in both groups. Subsequently, the mouth breathers were asked to complete the quality of life questionnaire. Statistical tests: Chi-square, odds ratio, Mann-Whitney, and binomial tests were first applied followed by logistic regressions. Results: Thoracic breathing (p=0.04), using of accessory muscles (p=0.03) and reductions in flexibility (p=0.001) increased the chances of an individual being a mouth breather when compared to nasal breathers. Subsequently, using of accessory muscles decreased the chances of snoring among mouth breathers (p=0.03); the presence of shoulder asymmetry reduced the chances of experiencing quiet sleep (p=0.05) and increased the chances of coughing or being tired when playing or running (p=0.008). Finally, forward head position reduced the chances of waking up at night (p=0.04) and experiencing shortness of breath (p=0.05). Conclusions: Respiratory and postural adaptations increased the chances of individuals persisting with mouth breathing. Additionally, these adaptations could be associated with mouth breathers' self-perceived quality of life.

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