View Full Version : The influence of mouth breathing on reading and writing learning
16-02-2005, 01:26 AM
Recently, mouth breathing has been related to bad school performance. This is one of the most common complains in childhood and may be caused by allergies or tonsil and adenoid enlargement.
Objectives: Compare the process of written language acquisition and behavior problems in children with and without mouth breathing.
Material and Methods:
This is a retrospective study of school folders from 152 pre-school students from a particular school in São Paulo, during 2002. Teachers classified the level of written language acquisition according to Emilia Ferreiro. We evaluated also behavior aspects and reinforcement classes referral. Visual and hearing disabilities and emotional problems were also evaluated and constituted a group called difficulties.
There were more boys than girls in the mouth breathing children group. The number of children with mouth breathing was higher among those referred to reinforcement classes and they were classified in the earlier stages of written language learning. There was no correlation between “difficulties” and mouth breathing or learning. Behavior problems were found to be related to mouth breathing, too.
There is a correlation between mouth breathing and learning and behavior problems. So, it is very important that education professions be aware of breathing disorders in their students. This way, they can identify and refer them to search for treatment and improve learning.
Autors: Kátia A. Kuhn Chedid (Orientadora Educacional/ Pedagoga PUC-SP / Psicopedagoga )
Renata C. Di Francesco (Médica Otorrinolaringologista/Doutora em Medicina pela Faculdade de Medicina da USP)
Paula Andreya de Souza Junqueira (Fonoaudióloga/Mestre em Fisiopatologia experimental pela Faculdade de Medicina da USP)
Thanks for submitting this interesting study finding. So far we have noted from Canadian cohort studies where they monitor children in conjunction with with health data records, that there is a correlation between language development and inner ear infections.
Perhaps some practitioners might be able to give their opinion on this, certainly I would imagine that high absenteeism due to repetitive infections would also have an impact on learning development?
16-02-2005, 01:36 PM
I believe that exist correlations between mouth breathing and cerebral development and functions I would like to know if someone is intersting in make searchs or if know some search in this line. I apreciate if you can send me some contact in Canada.
Sorry about my english..
06-03-2005, 08:49 AM
I was also most interested to discover your posting.
Which is a subject of personal interest.
I would begin by mentioning that this has also been identified as common factor in Asthma.
Though, the crucial issue, is what is the difference between nose and mouth breathing?
In which case, I would simply ask you to observe the difference.
Firstly, I would ask you to take a slightly deep breath through your mouth, and notice where your chest expands.
Typically your shoulders will rise slightly.
Then take a breath through your nose.
Where commonly your lower chest/ diaphragm will expand.
The crucial factor, is that mouth breathing is top end/lung breathing. Which in turn has a smaller volume capacity.
Whilst nose breathing utilises the entire lung.
Therefore top end/ mouth breather's are living with a restricted oxygen supply.
This is also exacerbated when placed under stress, where muscle contraction around the upper chest / shoulder area is a common response. Which in turn restricts the oxygen intake. e.g. : Asthma.
In relation to Cerebral Development in childhood. Given that oxygen is an essential element in brain growth and activity.
This restriction of oxygen supply, becomes a notable factor.
Thanks for raising this issue, and perhaps you could take a deep breath and write back with your feedback.
08-03-2005, 12:26 PM
Thanks a lot for your observations. I would like to have the references of the paper about asthma and learning, because it is of our interest and is associated to our researches.
Your question is capital, once nose and oral breathing are very different.
The nose works in the preparations of the air will get in the lungs. For a perfect gas exchange in the lungs, air should have about 100% humidity and be around 37 degrees Celsius (body temperature). So, it is inside the nose the air is heated to that temperature and humidified. According to the concept of united airways, the function of the upper airways is fundamental to the good performance of the lower ones. Nasal blockage leads to a poor pulmonary function.
When nasal obstruction is installed early in life, it causes several problems to the developping child. In order to supply nasal problem, the child breaths through the mouth. Besides lung problems, mouth breathing results in craniofacial growth and development, such as: maxillar atresia, small nasal fossae, crossbite, clockwise mandible rotation and tongue and orofacial muscular hypotonia.
The child who breaths through the mouth usually snores and the most severe cases present sleep apnea. We call this, sleep disorderd breathing. In these cases, children presents abnormalites in sleep architecture and frequent small and usually insconscient aroulsals. REM (rapid eyes movement) phase of sleep is incomplete (phase of deep sleep), so there is a non-restoring sleep. This problem is generally associated to a diminishion of oxigen saturation and in cases of apnea, pauses in breathing may occur. Sleep disorderd breathing may affect many aspects of the child quality of life, such as failure to thrive, enureris (wet the bed during the night), bruxism. Daytime symptoms are defficit of attention and hyperexcitation (hyperactivity). These are the items that are probably related to learning problems.
The same problem may affect adults although they present instead of hyperexcitation, daytime sleepiness what makes these relationship easier to comprehend.
There are many international papers about these problems in children that explains there may be lack of brain stimulation during sleep in these children and there may be some neurotransmissors involved.
In our research we could find a positive correlation between mouth breathers and a slower process in the process of literacy (reading and writing skills).
We hope to have fulfilled your requests.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Renata C. Di Francesco, MD
Associated doctor of the department of Otolaryngology. University of São Paulo Medical School
Katia A Kuhn Chedid
17-03-2005, 03:37 PM
Over the years, a relatively scarce number of researchers have tried (and are still trying) to link information regarding sleep-patterns of humans and animals to behavior shown during the day (e.g., Ball e.a., 1997; Chervin e.a., 1997; Ball & Koloian, 1995; Kaplan e.a., 1987; Greenhill e.a., 1983). Sleep has been measured both objectively by use of EEG and polysomnography [e.g., the percentage of REM-sleep?] and subjectively by use of questionnaires/observations [e.g., Does a child get enough sleep, according to the parental observations? Does he/she wake up frequently during the night? Is he/she snoring? Does he/she suffer from night terrors?]. Kleitman (1965), for example, deprived “healthy” individuals from their sleep over a period of several days. After a certain period of time, these healthy individuals became more hyperactive, impulsive, inattentive etc. Vice versa, several authors (e.g., Trommer, 1998) found by use of parent-reported observations, that, compared to healthy controls, ADHD children had more problems with falling asleep at night, had more nightmares, were snoring more, and were more sleepy and less alert during the day. Furthermore, Giles et al. (1994) stated that it may well be that the co-occurrence of sleep problems and ADHD worsens the psychiatric symptoms and the social dysfunctioning (at school, at home etc.). Unfortunately, the outcome of the relatively few studies conducted so far is still inconsistent. However, the above-mentioned results are in line with Katiachedid, who states at the forum that there may well be a relation between snoring, sleep apnea etc. on the one hand and hyperactivity on the other.
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