Mouth Vs Nose Breathing: Does It Make A Difference
Have you ever thought about the way you breathe? Do you breathe through your mouth or your nose? Interestingly enough, it is healthier to breathe through your nose versus your mouth. Not only will you more effectively use the air you breathe through your nose, but guess what? Nose breathing also improves your vagal tone and improves your heart rate variability which we have discussed their importance in prior articles.
Probably about half of the population breathes through their mouths, especially earlier in the day, but some only during exercise. Chronic mouth breathing can lead to a variety of health issues and can worsen the risk of other health conditions.
Lets take a closer look at breathing. Both mouth and nose breathing lead to your throat, which carries oxygen into your lungs. However, there are some distinct differences. Your nose is designed to help you breathe safely and efficiently by filtering out foreign particles, such as dust, allergens, and pollen, which helps stop them from entering your lungs.
Your nose also warms and moisturizes the air you breathe. Bringing the air you breathe to the same temperature as your body, thus making it easier for your lungs to use. During nose breathing, your nose releases nitric oxide , which is a vasodilator, which helps open blood vessels, thus improving oxygen circulation in your body.
Here are some tips to improve nose breathing:
What Are The Benefits Of Nasal Breathing
Although nasal breathing seems to be undoubtedly right, there are certain reasons why:
- Full oxygen saturation of the lungs and other organs
- Normal respiratory metabolism
Apart from these most common reasons, there is more of what causes mouth breathing in adults:
- Stuffy nose caused by allergies, chronic sinus infection, or cold
- Nasal polyps
- Genetic abnormalities related to the shape of the nose or jaw
As for the causes of nighttime mouth breathing, the most common are snoring and sleep apnea. The latter often triggers mouth breathing to provide the body with oxygen, since blocked airways donât allow nose breathing.
How To Fix Mouth Breather Face
Sure, health comes first, and once you realize you have a mouth breatherâs face, itâs crucial to deal with the cause of it. When itâs done, you may start working on your face shape.
There are a few important steps to do to reverse mouth breathing face:
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What If Im Guilty Of Mouth
Mouth breathers often have chronically red and inflamed gums, even if their oral health is otherwise good. Adults may also find they have bleeding gums, or may get frequent cavities. A thorough dental exam will help determine whether mouth breathing has an underlying medical cause. Itâs also important for parents to look for signs of mouth breathing in children, so the problem can be corrected before it worsens.
As always, ask your dentist!
Do Nose Breathing Exercises
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing or Nadishodhana is an ordinary breathing activity used in yoga. In this activity, you breathe through one nostril and exhale through the other while using your finger to block the other nostril.
Belly breathing is also called abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing. It includes putting up with slow and deep breaths through your nose.
The objective is to inhale deep enough to fill your stomach with air. This movement raises how much oxygen you take inside and may slow down your heart rate.
Belly breathing also boosts mindfulness. It enables you to develop the habit of breathing through your nose. Repeat this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes to reap the maximum benefits.
Breath of Fire
Breath of fire requires you to exhale quickly and strongly, and to inhale regularly. It is also called skull shining breath.
This skill may assist in improving respiratory function by employing your respiratory muscles and diaphragm adequately. It might also boost your concentration power and reduce anxiety. If you are a newbie to this exercise, start slowly and speed it up with time.
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Which Is Better For You Nose Breathing Or Mouth Breathing
When it comes to breathing, there are two schools of thought nose breathing and mouth breathing So, which is better for you? Lets take a look at the pros and cons of each method to help you decide which is best for you Nose Breathing Pros Nose breathing helps to filter and warm the air before it enters your lungs This can be beneficial if you suffer from allergies or asthma It also promotes relaxation and can help to slow down your heart rate Nose breathing helps to improve your lung capacity over time Cons Some people find nose breathing difficult, especially if they have a cold or sinus infection, In this case, mouth breathing may be preferable Mouth breathers can sometimes be seen as more relaxed than nose breathers (think of a dog panting with its tongue out, However, this isnt always the case!
In conclusion, it depends on the individual as to which is better for them nose breathing or mouth breathing Some people may find that they breathe better through their nose, while others may find that they breathe better through their mouth Ultimately, it is up to the individual to figure out which works best for them
How To Prevent Mouth Breathing
There are a few different ways you can prevent mouth breathing and manage the side effects that come from it.
First off, make sure youre using fluoride every day. The fluoride will help remineralize any dry, weak enamel thats starting to develop cavities.
Second, practice proper breathing with your mouth closed. If your nasal passages are blocked, its worthwhile to start treating them with medication or the help of your physician.
Third and probably most importantly, watch your child when theyre young. Are they using a pacifier or sucking their thumb past 1 or 2 years of age? Are they breathing through their mouth or wetting the bed as they get older? Do they tend to have problems with attention or school work? You might want to have your dentist or a myofunctional therapist assess their oral anatomy and bone development, to make sure theres optimal airflow whenever their mouth is closed. That way growth modification/orthognathic correction can be used
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What Are The Symptoms Of Mouth Breathing
Many people dont realise they are breathing through their mouth instead of their nose, especially if it happens when they are sleeping. However, some of the symptoms that relate to mouth breathing can include:
- Waking up tired and irritable
- Chronic fatigue
- Dark circles under the eyes
- A slightly open-mouthed appearance
- Being a noisy eater
Why Mouth Breathing Is Not As Good For You
Do you know the difference between a nose breather and a mouth breather? If youre not sure, youre not alone Many people dont realize that there is a difference or that one is better than the other Mouth breathing is often thought of as being better for you because it allows more oxygen into the body However, mouth breathing can be bad for you in many ways Nose breathing, on the other hand, is much better for you overall Heres why Nose breathing warms and humidifies the air before it reaches your lungs Mouth breathing can lead to dehydration and a loss of essential minerals and vitamins Nose breathing helps improve blood circulation and oxygenation throughout the body Mouth breathing can contribute to bad breath and an increased risk of gum disease
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How To Tell If I’m A Mouth Breather Vs Nose Breather
How can you tell if youre a mouth breather without somebody telling you that you are? Ask yourself:
- Do you notice that your lips are always dry and chapped?
- Do you frequently experience dry mouth or xerostomia symptoms?
- Are your gums, especially around your front teeth, always red, irritated, or inflamed?
- Do you tend to struggle with bad breath?
- Does your mouth feel sticky or is it ever hard to swallow?
- Do you wake up in the morning with a cotton mouth?
- When you exercise, are you breathing in through your mouth, or in through your nose?
- Do you catch yourself with your mouth open for no reason?
- Have family members or roommates ever mentioned you sleeping with your mouth wide open?
Risks Of Mouth Breathing
What are some of the other health conditions that someone might experience if theyre a mouth breather? Or are there risk factors that can make someone more prone to mouth breathing?
If youre experiencing any of these situations or find that several of the following criteria apply to you personally, you might be more prone to mouth breathing than others around you:
- A small jaw
- Prolonged thumb/finger/pacifier habit as a child
- Enlarged tongue
- A severe open bite, overjet, or overbite
Mouth breathing tends to be common in young children who have orofacial growth concerns. So, if you notice your child having difficulty concentrating or struggling with their grades in school, it might also tie back to their respiratory health and breathing patterns.
Sometimes bad habits are to blame. If issues like blocked sinuses are addressed but an individual continues to breathe through their mouth instead of training themselves to breathe through their nose and have good mouth posture, their mouth breathing can last throughout their lifetime.
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Mouth Breathing Weakens Your Lungs Heart And Lot More
Some researchers have pointed out how mouth breathing and associated hyperventilation causes and exacerbates asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease and other medical problems.
Breathing through your mouth causes depleted carbon dioxide levels, reduces blood circulation, slows down your brain and reflexes and even causes spells of dizziness and sometimes unconsciousness. Chronic mouth breathing also causes the muscles that open the sidewalls of the nose to weaken causing narrowing of airways.
When you breathe in the mouth or over-breath, the lungs are overstimulated with oxygen but the airways become dried and vaso-constricted, so an inefficient amount of oxygen is actually absorbed through the alveoli in the lungs.
Mouth Breather Vs Nose Breather
Why do people sleep with their mouth open? People who mouth breath during the day and night almost always develop a mouth breather face. Proper nasal breathing is one of the most important things for overall health. People who breathe through their nose instead of their mouth are much less likely to suffer from poor facial development, sleep apnea, teeth clenching, poor posture, thyroid problems and bad facial profile. That is just to name a few.
If you are a mouth breather, we can do a lot to help you begin to breath through your nose and stop mouth breathing once and for all. And correct many other problems such as tongue tie, bruxism and sleep and posture problems. The first step in discovering how to stop mouth breathing is to understand what causes people to become a mouth breather to begin with.
If you have not done so, you should read James Nestors Book, Breath.
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Is Mouth Breathing A Bad Thing
Typically, your mouth needs plenty of saliva to stay healthy. An adequate saliva flow helps to limit the accumulation of bacteria, dry tissues, and even odors. When someone is always breathing through their mouth instead of their nosesay for the occasional hard workout at the gymit dries out your saliva quicker than it can replenish itself.
- Gum disease
- Dry, cracked lips
In fact, in dentistry, we purposely try to treat and manage dry mouth, because its that bad for your tooth enamel. Without saliva coating your teeth throughout the day, your bacterial and acid levels skyrocket. Chronic mouth breathing canand almost always willlead to an uptick in dental diseases. You could almost equate mouth breathing to being as bad on your teeth and gums as what we see with cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Its a huge factor in your dental wellness, not just a minor knit-picky issue.
Better Relaxation And Digestion
Nose breathing exercises promote relaxation in a person. Probably thats why most relaxation techniques in yoga encourage breathing deep from the nose.
But mouth breathing harms the part of the parasympathetic nervous system and causes a faster heart rate than usual.
Apart from this, mouth breathing can cause a digestive problem called aerophagia. The condition causes the air to regularly transit from the stomach into the small intestine. This further causes intestinal pain, abdominal bloating, and excessive burping.
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Mouth Breathing Vs Nasal Breathing: Which Is Best
When it comes to breathing, we all do it every single day, all the time. It is an unconscious part of life that we really only notice when there is something getting in the way of doing it efficiently. Studies show that 80% of people are actually breathing WRONG. People are supposed to breathe through their noses unless they require more oxygen during exercise or there is an obstruction like a stuffy nose. Its a good idea to differentiate between nose breathing and mouth breathing. Here we discuss mouth breathing vs. nasal breathing, and which is best for your overall health.
Mouth Breathing Vs Nose Breathing
There are many healthy reasons to breathe through your nose, and some serious consequences to mouth-breathing.
Mouth-breather! Its a term people might fling as an insult or say as a joke, but breathing through the mouth has some very real, and very serious health consequences. Heres a partial list:
- Breathing through the mouth has been proven to significantly increase the likelihood of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
- Mouth breathing can cause bad breath, because of altered bacterial population in the mouth.
- Breathing by mouth results dries the tongue, teeth and gums consequently, levels of acid in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum problems
- Another undesirable consequence of mouth breathing, especially when asleep, is dehydration how often do mouth breathing sleepers awake with a dry mouth?
- Some research had drawn connections between mouth breathing and asthma
- Sports performance can suffer from mouth breathing when we inhale and exhale through the mouth, oxygen uptake in the lungs can go down.
- There is some research evidence that ADHD is exacerbated by mouth breathing
- Children who breathe through their mouths are at greater risk of abnormal facial structure, head posture, and impaired respiratory strength
Here are some of the benefits of breathing properly through your nostril:
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Can Breathing Through Your Nose While Exercising Improve Your Athletic Performance
During exercise, many people breathe through their mouth. This can happen because faster breathing increases airflow resistance in your nose, causing you to switch to mouth breathing.
However, the evidence is mixed as to whether nose breathing is a better option than mouth breathing during exercise.
In a small 2018 study, 10 runners ran on a treadmill twice: once with nose breathing and once with mouth breathing. During each session, the researchers measured respiratory markers like oxygen consumption, respiratory rate, and carbon dioxide production.
The researchers found that the runners consumed the same amount of oxygen during nose and mouth breathing while running. But their respiratory rate, or number of breaths per minute, was lower during nose breathing.
This means it took less work to consume the same amount of oxygen with nose breathing, which could potentially improve athletic performance and endurance.
However, a small 2017 study found that while nose breathing led to a lower respiratory rate during exercise, it may also increase cardiovascular stress.
The authors of this study determined that breathing technique doesnt affect athletic performance, and that the mode of breathing during exercise should be decided by the individual.
Breathing exercises may help improve your nose breathing. These techniques may also help enhance your lung function, increase respiratory muscle strength, and relieve stress and anxiety.
Breathing Exercises And Mouth Taping
Strengthening the muscle tissue in the mouth and airway is also critical. Introducing tongue exercises to strengthen the tongue and improve its posture will help it stay up in the palate and not collapse into the throat. Dr. John Mew has a lot of exercises he calls mewing. Additionally releasing tongue ties is often necessary to allow it to function better. Breathing exercises and mouth taping will help to break the mouth breathing habit and improve the tone of the muscle in the airway.
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How To Treat Mouth Breathing
The quickest way to treat mouth breathing is to start training yourself to breathe through your nose. That might also mean you need to start taking a decongestant or allergy medication to help clear up any nasal inflammation. From there, youll want to remind yourself frequently to consciously try to close your mouth and breathe through your nose instead. Some people will go as far as to place a small strip of tape over their own mouth so that they feel it tugging if they start to drop their jaw open. Of course, that only works if youre not around a lot of other people during the day!
Resources And Techniques For Mouth Breathers
There are 2 amazing resources that provide detailed instructions for a mouth breathing treatment. I tested these instructions on hundreds of my students. The direct links to these resources are provided down below here as your bonus content.
YouTube video: Mouth breathing and its effects.
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