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April 23, 1887


JAMA. 1887;VIII(17):458-459. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391420010001c

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The evil results of mouth breathing, are due to the inspiration of atmosphere at a low temperature, the presence of dust and foreign matter in the air, the desiccating effect on the mucous membrane over which the air passes, and the disuse of the nasal passages for the normal function of respiration.

The pathological results are: chronic inflammation of the pharynx, larynx, and bronchi, and the adjacent tissues, accompanied with cough, hoarseness, loss of resonance of voice, impairment of sense of smell, and hearing. The pernicious effect of oral respiration is not impressed upon the minds of medical men, nor is it scarcely recognized as being an evil practice by the public. The practice is a very common one, especially during the winter season; there are a great many habitual mouth breathers.

A condition which gives rise to partial or complete nasal stenosis, is adequate cause for mouth breathing. Chronic

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