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In aesthetics, the focus often lands on the latest treatments and products, from fillers to toxins (i.e Botox, Daxxify, Xeomin, Dysport etc). However, a less discussed but equally crucial aspect of maintaining and enhancing one’s aesthetic is the role of mouth breathing. Yes, you read that you breathe can significantly impact your facial structure, skin health, and even the effectiveness of cosmetic treatments. Let’s dive into the not often talked about connection between mouth breathing and aesthetic procedures.

Understanding Mentalis Strain and Muscle Compensation

The mentalis muscle, located on the chin, can become strained when other muscles around the mouth and jaw are not functioning properly. This could be due to various reasons such as improper lip function or an underdeveloped jaw or facial structure. Mentalis strain is not just a singular issue but indicative of a broader muscle dysfunction, leading to overcompensation and affecting facial symmetry. This strain can alter the outcomes of cosmetic treatments like fillers and toxins, as these procedures rely on the balanced functioning of facial muscles to produce desired results.

Mentalis | Encyclopedia | | Learn anatomy | 3D models,  articles, and quizzes

Proper Tongue Posture

Surprisingly, the position of your tongue also plays a role in shaping your facial structure and supporting your cranial nerves. A correct tongue posture, pressed against the roof of the mouth, not only supports facial and cranial development but also triggers a calming effect on the nervous system. This posture can prevent orthodontic relapse, reduce the occurrence of crooked teeth, and contribute to overall body support. For individuals undergoing cosmetic treatments, maintaining good tongue posture can enhance the longevity and effectiveness of results by promoting a balanced facial structure.

Is Your Tongue Resting On Your Palate? - Alabama Tongue-Tie Center | Dr.  Baxter & Dr. Trego | Birmingham, AL

The Consequences of Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing might seem harmless, but it's linked to several conditions that can compromise facial aesthetics. It increases the risk of cavities and gum disease and impedes facial growth, potentially leading to more pronounced signs of aging and affecting the symmetry and balance that cosmetic treatments strive to achieve. Trust me I have been there! Mouth breathing is associated with poor sleep quality, which can exacerbate conditions like under-eye puffiness/discoloration, facial asymmetry, and even a lopsided jaw due to muscle dysfunction. The habitual mouth breathing affects sleep quality, which is vital for overall well-being and the skin’s ability to rejuvenate, potentially diminishing the results of procedures.

How Nose Breathing Makes a Difference

In contrast, nose breathing supports a plethora of health and aesthetic benefits that can enhance the effectiveness of cosmetic procedures. By breathing through the nose, you can potentially experience:

  • Alert and Brighter Eyes: Nose breathing helps regulate sleep patterns, which can lead to a more rested appearance and reduce under-eye puffiness and dark circles.
  • Defined Jawline and Cheekbones: Proper breathing techniques can influence facial growth and structure, promoting defined jawlines and cheekbones. This natural contouring complements cosmetic enhancements by providing a more sculpted foundation for treatments like fillers and Botox.
  • Improved Sleep Quality: Deep, restorative sleep is crucial for maintaining skin health and vitality. Nose breathing encourages deeper sleep by supporting the body’s natural relaxation responses, leading to improved skin texture and a reduction in signs of aging.
  • Balanced Oxygenation and Blood Pressure: Nose breathing increases CO2 levels in the blood, which can enhance oxygenation and circulation. This improved blood flow supports skin health and can lead to a more vibrant, youthful complexion.
  • Stress Reduction: Engaging the parasympathetic nervous system through nose breathing triggers relaxation responses in the body. Reduced stress levels can decrease the incidence of stress-related skin issues, such as acne breakouts or inflammation, ensuring a smoother canvas for cosmetic procedures.

Specialized Treatment: Myofunctional Therapy 

Have you heard of it? Myofunctional therapy is an innovative approach that addresses the root causes of mouth breathing, offering a comprehensive solution that not only impacts oral health but also facial aesthetics. This specialized therapy focuses on retraining the muscles of the mouth, face, and tongue, encouraging habits that promote healthier breathing, eating, and speaking patterns. Seeking a professional for Myofunctional Therapy could be a transformative step in your health and aesthetic journey for the following reasons:

  • Personalized Facial "Symmetry": Each individual's situation is unique, and a Myofunctional therapist can tailor the therapy to address specific needs, ensuring more effective and lasting results. By correcting the muscle imbalances that mouth breathing can cause, Myofunctional therapy can help to promote more balanced facial development. Remember the goal isn't perfection, no one is perfectly symmetrical.
  • Expert Guidance: These professionals are trained to identify and correct improper muscle function, providing exercises and techniques that might not be accessible or correctly executed without their guidance.
  • Holistic Approach: Myofunctional therapists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team, collaborating with dentists, orthodontists, and other specialists to provide comprehensive care that addresses not just symptoms but the underlying causes of mouth breathing and related issues.
  • Enhancing Cosmetic Treatment Outcomes: For those considering or undergoing aesthetic treatments, Myofunctional therapy can provide a more stable foundation, potentially improving the longevity and effectiveness of treatments such as fillers and Botox.
  • Reducing the Need for Extensive Corrections: Early intervention through Myofunctional therapy can address developmental concerns before they become more pronounced, reducing the need for more extensive orthodontic or cosmetic corrections later in life.

Integrative Aesthetic Practices

Given the impact that breathing patterns have on facial aesthetics, it’s clear that integrating such discussions into your aesthetic appointments can significantly benefit you! Understanding the root causes of facial asymmetry guides us to target the use of aesthetic injections to:

  • Neurotoxins:
    • Nostrils: Neurotoxins can be injected into the nasal muscles that contribute to nasal valve collapse, a condition that narrows or obstructs the nasal passage. By relaxing these muscles, the nasal valve area can remain more open, enhancing airflow and making breathing through the nose easier.
    • Massters: Though not directly related to the respiratory system, treating TMJ disorders with neurotoxins can indirectly affect breathing, especially in people who experience tension and pain that lead to difficulties with mouth and nose breathing. Relaxing the masseter muscle can alleviate some of these symptoms, potentially improving comfort during breathing 
    • DAO (Depressor Anguli Oris): These injections can help alleviate the downward pull on the mouth corners, often exacerbated by muscle overactivity due to mouth breathing. It offers an indirect effect on reducing mentalis strain by altering the dynamic interplay of facial muscles.

    • Chin Dimples and Mentalis Strain: Neurotoxins can also be used to smooth out chin dimpling and reduce mentalis strain, resulting from overcompensation for other facial muscle weaknesses.

  • Jawline, Chin, and Shadow Filler: Strategic placement of fillers can address the lack of definition and structural imbalances caused by mouth breathing, enhancing the lower face's aesthetic appeal.

While fillers, toxins and other cosmetic treatments offer pathways to a rejuvenated you, the foundation of facial aesthetics extends beyond the surface. Understanding and addressing the role of mouth breathing can offer you a whole new world of comprehensive care. When in doubt, talk to your dentist, who I hope can empower you to make informed decisions about your health and beauty routines. Integrating simple practices that complement your health and cosmetic enhancements, leads to more harmonious and lasting results.

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