Take a Breath

Did you know that May is Mouth Breathing Awareness month? Mouth breathing can lead to a slew of health problems because it bypasses the filtration system of the nose. It can lead to health issues such as chronic bad breath, periodontal disease, cavities, gastrointestinal issues, allergies and even more serious disorders like poor jaw and facial development and sleep disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea. In children, mouth breathing significantly impacts the way the skull, brain, face, and airways grow. If left untreated, mouth breathing will lead to chronic health problems.

So why do some people breathe through their mouth and others through their nose? Mouth breathing is generally attributed to small airway size or airway obstruction. Common causes of mouth breathing include structural abnormalities, such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids, allergies, rhinitis, sinusitis, high palate, deviated septum, tongue tie, thumb sucking or prolonged pacifier use, and narrow nose. Mouth breathing creates an unhealthy cycle, as the things that cause mouth breathing also perpetuate it.

Mouth breathing can have a serious impact on the entire body. It is often said that the mouth is the gateway to our body’s overall health. It is important to understand that everything in the body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes is related and affects each other. One would not think that the way that you breathe could possibly be related to the health of your spine, but the effects of living with mouth breathing can be seen throughout the body. In an attempt to open the airway, a primary structural shift will often cause the head to sit forward on the spine, away from your center of gravity. This causes the body to adapt by making postural changes in order to alleviate the pressure that this causes on the brain stem. This abnormal posture leads to development of a Dowager’s, or “granny” hump, which is the bulging that can be seen at the base of the neck just between the shoulders. Not only can this cause neck pain and tension, but it puts strain on the muscles in the front and back of the neck. These muscles attach directly onto the rib cage and base of the skull. Chronic strain on the bones of the skull can lead to deformation of the hard palate and improper position of the tongue. Very tight muscles in the front of the neck also makes resting with the jaw shut more difficult.

Mouth breathing is a habit and can be broken, once the underlying cause is found and breathing is restrained. Breathing re-education is often a team approach between a number of healthcare providers, such as chiropractors, myofunctional therapists, breathing coaches, ENTs, and dentists. Together, these providers can identify and alleviate barriers to nasal breathing and work to improve posture, oral function, and strengthen the airways.

Alex Roes
Alex Roes
2023-12-21
I am a violinist that had tendinitis in both of my hands coming from my neck misalignment. Dr. Zifteh got me back to normal within a few months, and now I am in even better shape than before. 10/10
Brian Roes
Brian Roes
2023-12-18
Dr. Zifteh is an excellent chiropractor, who focuses on finding the least invasive way to get the maximum results for her patients. I have been receiving chiropractic care from her for about two months— the results have been remarkable. Not only has my neck and back pain decreased dramatically, but my posture has noticeably improved! Dr. Vicki Zifteh was recommended to me by a local medical doctor friend of mine as “the only chiropractor in Jacksonville I can wholeheartedly recommend.” I have had other chiropractors previously and I felt like they just started “cracking” without truly assessing what was happening in my body and systematically measuring progress and results. Dr. Zifteh is exactly the opposite. She is very conscientious about holistic assessments, x-rays (when necessary), symptom monitoring… and only makes physical adjustments when necessary. She is also highly trained in soft tissue work which makes the whole process very smooth and integrated. In addition to all of these things, she is punctual with her appointments, communicates professionally, and is very friendly and comfortable all the time. Highly recommend!
Benjamin Lamb
Benjamin Lamb
2023-11-06
Best Chiropractor Ive ever been to, hands down. I went to multille different ones to ease specific pain for over 5 years with no lasting relief. Dr. Soriano identified the root cause & provides consistant relief. He also instructed me with a plan to help the body to heal.
Jessica Hudson, D.C.
Jessica Hudson, D.C.
2023-10-05
Dr.s Soriano and Zifteh are top notch. Every time I get an an upper cervical adjustment, I feel so much clearer. I can think clearer, sleep better and function better overall. I can always count on Apex to put my head back on straight!
Deanne Roes
Deanne Roes
2023-09-29
My son is a violin performance major at university. During his second semester he began to experience pain in both arms, along with tingling and electric shock- like sensations. He became unable to play. He went to a doctor and was instructed to wear braces, take massive amounts of ibuprofen and give it time- there was “No injury only inflammation.” Two months passed, and he was not able to touch his violin, he was unable to text, type, hold a writing implement, or do any kind of fine motor skill activity. He could not work out, sleep well, and was dependent on pain relievers to get through the day. The pain and weakness remained the same. My son lost a semester of progress. During this time, I spoke with my son’s former pediatrician and she said “Without even seeing him I know what the problem is- it’s his neck. And there is one person in the city of Jacksonville who I know can help him.” We visited Dr. Zifteh who did extensive scans and developed a treatment plan. She was both honest in her assessment and full of hope and encouragement. Her approach was non-invasive and gentle, focused only where he needed adjustment. Within two months my son was pain free, edging back into practicing, and had regained full mobility of his fingers, hands and arms. Four months later, he has returned to full strength and stamina. He is performing, playing 4-5 hours per day, teaching, and back on track to accomplish his dream of becoming a professional violinist. Dr. Zifteh’s skill and care created a miracle for my son and we still are marveling at the healing he experienced. Thank you!!
Adison Nikolai
Adison Nikolai
2023-09-20
I started taking my 16 month old to Dr. Vicki for reflux. My daughter loves to go! I noticed an improvement in her reflux after several visits. Dr. Vicki takes the time to listen to you and is great with kids. Thank you!!
john gallagher
john gallagher
2023-09-18
Pleasant and patient, Dr. Zifteh took the time to ensure that I understood what she was doing for me and why.
Megan Kinney
Megan Kinney
2023-09-10
I would give 10 stars if I could. My son showed improvement IMMEDIATELY, after having issues latching for a little while he latched & was so relaxed & comfortable right after his adjustment with just 1 visit. Dr. Soriano is a Miracle worker!! He was very thorough & explained everything he was doing & why. He made us feel very comfortable too
Jennifer Vannoy
Jennifer Vannoy
2023-07-21
Dr. Soriano is so knowledgeable! He does a thorough exam, explains what should be normal, and he has an amazing bedside manner. We can't wait to see the progress he makes with our daughter!
Konrad Klonowski
Konrad Klonowski
2023-05-20
Dr. Vicki Zifteh's adjustments significantly reduced my chronic neck pain and headaches. Highly recommend and thank you for your help.