How often do you think about your breathing? Maybe when you’re out of breath or your nose is stuffed up, making breathing difficult. But, do you think about whether you’re breathing through your mouth or your nose? Do you know that nasal breathing is much more effective than mouth breathing? Find out more about nasal breathing and its benefits in this blog.

Breathing Basics

Breathing is a vital body process. It provides you with oxygen your body needs to survive. It’s also how your body releases waste and carbon dioxide.

There are two ways to get air into the body: through your mouth and your nose.

A Bad Way to Breathe?

Healthy people breathe through their nose and mouth. That’s not to say that unhealthy people just breathe through their mouths. There are times when mouth breathing is necessary, like when you have a cold or nasal congestion. You may also tend to mouth-breathe when you’re working out strenuously, as mouth breathing helps you get oxygen to your muscles faster.

But, like anything, too much of a good thing can be, well, not good.

Breathing through the mouth all the time can lead to crooked teeth, facial deformities or stunted growth in children. For adults, chronic mouth breathing can mean gum disease, bad breath and jaw problems.

Nasal Breathing Advantages

What are the advantages of breathing through your nose? Nasal breathing is ideal because the nose makes nitric oxide, a component that allows your lungs to absorb oxygen. So, nasal breathing equals more oxygen.

Nitric oxide also increases oxygen transportation through the body. It helps to relax your vascular smooth muscle and expand your blood vessels.

Nitric oxide has some additional benefits, too. It’s antiparasitic, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial. So, that means less chance of developing an infection.

More Benefits

Additional benefits of nasal breathing include:

  • The nose is a filter, blocking out small particles such as dust and pollen. 
  • The nose helps to add moisture to the air to keep the lungs and bronchial tubes from drying out.
  • Breathing through the nose warms up cold air to your body temperature to prevent damage to your lungs
  • Nasal breathing helps to maintain lung elasticity by adding resistance to the airstream when you breathe in.

Are You Breathing Through Your Mouth? 

You may not even realize you’re breathing through your mouth instead of your nose, mainly if you are doing it while you sleep. The following symptoms may be signs of mouth breathing:

  • Snoring
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat/dry throat/hoarseness
  • Waking up tired
  • Brain fog
  • Bad breath
  • Dark undereye circles

The signs of mouth breathing in children include:

  • Large tonsils
  • Irritability
  • Frequent crying during the night
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dry and cracked lips
  • Daytime fatigue 
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Outbursts
  • Slow growth

Are you seeing the signs of mouth breathing in yourself or your child? Call 713-668-2289 now to discuss options for treatment.

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