After watching shows like Stranger Things, I just assumed the term mouth breather was a joke (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opUP0Nag9pQ). However, after doing a little research, it seems to be a legitimate medical problem that can negatively affect facial bone development (Basheer, et al. 2014).

Is it ever too late to develop proper tongue positioning habits later in life? Can the adult skeleton still morph and change over time or is this only possible during childhood?


Basheer, B., Hegde, K. S., Bhat, S. S., Umar, D., & Baroudi, K. (2014). Influence of mouth breathing on the dentofacial growth of children: a cephalometric study. Journal of international oral health: JIOH, 6(6), 50. PMCID: PMC4295456 PMID: 25628484

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    Can you please explain your question without resorting to a television series? I have no idea what you're asking.
    – Carey Gregory
    Dec 27, 2018 at 5:19
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    @user27343 - For future info. it is advised when talking about research conducted that you provide links to what you have found. I have helped you with this question by providing one link. If this is not quite what you are referring to, you are free to change it to a correct reference. Dec 27, 2018 at 6:03
  • Thank you, that is what I'm referring to.
    – user27343
    Dec 27, 2018 at 6:26

1 Answer 1


Not only in adults, even in children, if treated too late, the bone changes can be irreversible - they may not re-morph naturally.

The article linked from your question: Influence of Mouth Breathing on the Dentofacial Growth of Children: A Cephalometric Study (PubMed, 2014) says:

Because upper airway obstruction is an obstacle to normal dentofacial development, mouth breathing children deserve prompt attention before growth has proceeded irreversibly.


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