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May 27, 1899


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1899;XXXII(21):1157-1158. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450480018002i

My paper has reference to those cases where mouth-breathing is the rule and not the exception. If one will take the pains to minutely examine the interior of the nose and its function, he will not be surprised to learn that there is a penalty for those who persistently use the mouth as a breathing apparatus. The object of nasal breathing is twofold, to moisten and to warm the air before its reception into the bronchial tubes. We need not be surprised, then, if many cases of bronchitis are caused by mouth-breathing, the cold and dry air coming in contact with the bronchial tubes and air-cells, causing congestion, and later inflammation. The same condition often causes asthma. We no longer attribute mouth-breathing to habit, and scold the patient for not breathing through the nose, but on the contrary, we know that in these cases there is an obstruction in the

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