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Minerva Stomatol. 2015 Apr;64(2):59-74.

Breathing pattern and head posture: changes in craniocervical angles.

[Article in English, Italian]

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Università Politecnica delle Marche Ancona, Italy -



The aim of this study was to observe the influence of oral breathing on head posture and to establish possible postural changes observing the variation of craniocervical angles NSL/OPT and NSL/CVT between oral breathing subjects and physiological breathing subjects.


A cross-sectional study was conducted. The sample included 115 subject, 56 boys and 59 girls, 5-22-year-old. Among these, 80 were classified as oral breathers and 35 as physiological breathers. The diagnosis of oral breathing was carried out thanks to characteristic signs and symptoms evaluated on clinical examination, the analysis of characteristic X-ray images, ENT examination with active anterior rhinomanometric (AAR) test. The structural and postural analysis was carried out, calculating the craniofacial angles NSL/OPT and NSL/CVT.


Both NSL/OPT and NSL/CVT appear to be significantly greater to those observed in physiological breathing patients. This means that patients who tend to breathe through the mouth rather than exclusively through the nose show a reduction of cervical lordosis and a proinclination of the head.


Our study confirms that the oral breathing modifies head position. The significant increase of the craniocervical angles NSL/OPT and NSL/CVT in patients with this altered breathing pattern suggests an elevation of the head and a greater extension of the head compared with the cervical spine. So, to correct the breathing pattern early, either during childhood or during adolescence, can lead to a progressive normalization of craniofacial morphology and head posture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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