Home / My Blog / Bad Breath And Mouth Breathing

It’s obvious to anyone who’s read my articles on this site that mouth breathing is connected to a number of health concerns, some of them quite serious. But did you know that having an open mouth or breathing through your mouth is also linked to bad breath?

bad breath

It’s easy to see why. The human mouth is full of bacteria. This is totally normal, and the good and bad bacteria are usually balanced and cause no problems at all. But when you breathe through your mouth, you increase the chance of having a dry mouth, which can in turn allow the levels of certain oral bacteria to get out of control. When this happens, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll experience halitosis, better known as bad breath, and that’s something nobody wants to deal with.

An open mouth can even lead to gum disease also known as periodontitis, which will only make bad breath worse, but gum disease is definitely a serious health condition in its own right. So it’s worth paying close attention if you notice even a hint of ongoing bad breath.

To put it simply, if fresh breath is a sign of a healthy mouth, then bad breath is a definite sign of an unhealthy mouth.

Children Can Get Bad Breath Too

Children can develop bad breath because of an open mouth as easily as adults. In fact, it’s even more likely that children will be affected because an open mouth in a child is often seen as normal or even cute, where an adult will generally become self-conscious and try to rest their mouth in a closed position as often as they can. In most cases, children are completely unaware of their mouth posture.

A 2011 Brazilian study that looked at mouth breathing and bad breath in over 50 children between the ages of 3 and 14 years found that there was a statistically significant connection between halitosis and mouth breathing.

Treating The Cause, Not The Symptoms

Bad breath is usually thought of as a social problem, but in this case, it’s definitely a sign that something isn’t right in the body. It’s a medical condition that can be difficult to deal with because the sufferer is never quite sure how bad their breath actually is. In most cases, people will be too polite to mention it, and if they do, the tendency is to reach for a solution that we’ve been told is the right one.

Watch TV for a while and you’ll quickly realize that mouthwash is often recommended as a cure for bad breath. However, if an open mouth caused the condition, then the last thing you should use is an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Mouthwash will further affect the delicate oral microbiome, which as we’ve seen is already being disrupted by mouth breathing – the bacteria levels will be affected but the root cause won’t be addressed at all.

Proper oral care including brushing properly and flossing should be part of your daily routine, but the real solution here is to find a way to return to nasal breathing. This will in all likelihood allow your breath to get back to normal by allowing your oral microbiome to find its balance.

Breaking a mouth breathing habit can be much harder than it sounds, especially if there are active factors contributing to the open mouth; allergies and congestion for example. Working with a myofunctional therapist is one of the most effective ways to change this kind of entrenched habit.

I’d be happy to meet with you for a free 30-minute Skype assessment if you’d like to discuss how to treat halitosis caused by an open mouth. I work with adults, teens and children, so please feel free to get in touch right here.



  1. Pingback: The Microbiome, Gut Health and Nasal Breathing - Myofunctional Therapy Exercises for Mouth Breathing, Sleep Apnea, Braces, and Speech

  2. Pingback: Myofunctional Therapy Research Articles - Myofunctional Therapy Exercises for Mouth Breathing, Sleep Apnea, Braces, and Speech

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.