Usually a synonym for idiot. This is a favorite term of Jim Rome and his clones. Used frequently to refer to John Rocker. The idea is the unintelligent people do not breathe through their noses, but rather through their mouths. Principally because when you stand with your mouth open, you look like a slack jawed idiot.

Occurs especially in individuals with incompetent lips, i.e. lips that do not meet at rest.

Underlying aetiology is commonly a discrepancy between the maxillary dentition and the mandibular dentition, known as a Class II malocclusion, classified by Angle. As it is the basal bone that supports these teeth, the discrepancy is usually skeletal, ie teeth on a Skeletal II base. Some are known classically as adenoid facies, ie long pale face, narrow palate, large adenoids blocking the airways.

Problems associated with being a mouth breather include a dry mouth, hyperplastic gingivitis (the gums grow larger and redder as they are perpetually dried up) and the fact that people think you look less intelligent.

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