More Reasons for Mouth Breathers to Quit The Habit

Is the air we breathe through our nose the same as the air we breathe through our mouth

Mouth breathing affects more than just the oral tissues of the mouth and facial/skeletal development. Long-term mouth breathing can actually have serious implications on your overall health. To answer the above question; the air we breathe through our nose is not the same as the air we breathe into our lungs when we mouth breathe.

Each breath we take when we mouth breathe contains lower levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitric oxide compared to nasal respiration. Mouth breathing does not allow for the proper exchange and filtration of air, as does nasal respiration. In fact, mouth breathing reduces the amount of oxygen being delivered to the whole body, and can be linked to other health risks as a result.

Less oxygen, more problems…

The ongoing decrease of oxygen in the body due to mouth breathing can be responsible for increased headaches and difficulty concentrating, especially in school-aged children. It can also lead to sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue and reduced energy levels. In addition, digestive disturbances can also develop as a result of air being swallowed while eating, since mouth breathers chew with their mouths open. Ingesting air while eating often leads to burping, flatulence and bloating of the abdomen.

In adults, the decreased levels of oxygen and nitric acid in the body can increase blood pressure and be a contributing factor to heart problems. Normal nasal respiration usually involves 10 – 12 breaths per minute. The respiration rate for mouth breathers is usually above 12 breaths per minute. Compared to mouth breathing, nasal respiration controls both the amount of air taken into the lungs and more importantly, the amount exhaled.

The nose knows best!

We were designed to breathe through our noses for our overall wellbeing and development. Diagnosing and accessing mouth breathing early will lead to fewer long term risk factors for overall health and dental health. If you suspect you or a loved one may have a problem with mouth breathing, visit Pina Mazza, Registered Dental Hygienist at Maple Dental Hygiene Care today.


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