The aim of the study was to address the genioglossus muscle physiological and histological changes after unilateral nasal obstruction in growing rats. Fifty-four 6-day-old male Wistar albino rats were randomly divided into control (n = 27) and experimental (n = 27) groups. Unilateral nasal obstruction was performed at 8 days old. Contractile properties of the genioglossus whole muscle were measured at 5-, 7- and 9-week-old, including the twitch and tetanic forces, contraction time, half-decay time, and fatigue index. The histological characteristics of the genioglossus were also evaluated at 5-, 7- and 9-week-old, analyzing the myosin heavy chain composition of the slow, fast, IIa and IIb muscle fiber type, by measuring the number, rate, diameter and cross-sectional area. The maximal twitch force, and tetanic force at 60 Hz and 80 Hz force was significantly increased at all ages after nasal obstruction. The fatigue index was decreased at 5 weeks-old after nasal obstruction. The diameter and cross-sectional area of the fast, IIa and IIb muscle fiber types were increased at 7 and 9 weeks after nasal obstruction, while only the diameter of IIa type and cross-sectional area of IIb type were increased at 5 weeks-old after nasal obstruction. Nasal obstruction during growth affects the whole genioglossus muscle contractile properties and histological characteristics, increasing its force, the diameter and area of its muscle fibers. These changes in the genioglossus muscle may affect the normal growth, development and function of the craniofacial complex.