Humans are obligatory nasal breathers. Nasal Breathing is essential for our oral health and overall health. Nasal breathing helps humidify, filter and warm the air prior to getting to our lungs to make the air optimal for absorption. Furthermore, nasal breathing releases nitric oxide which is important in our immune response and vasoregulation. Nasal breathing allows us to utilize our entire lung capacity while mouth breathing only allows us to use the top two thirds of our lungs. Nasal breathing helps drive the parasympathetic nervous system which allows our body’s to rest, restore and digest. Nasal breathing can increase the amount of oxygen in our bloodstream by as much as 20%
Mouth breathing dries out our mouth causing xerostomia. Xerostomia is the number one predictor of tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease), and bad breath. Mouth breathing significantly increases your chances of snoring and developing obstructive sleep apnea. Mouth breathing has been connected to anxiety, asthma, poorer athletic performance, chronic fatigue and can exacerbate ADHD.
Check in with yourself a couple times a day to make sure your lips are closed and you are breathing silently in and out through your nose. This will help keep your mouth healthier and your body healthier. Can’t breathe through your nose? Contact us to see ways we can help transform your breathing to improve your oral health and your overall health!