Take a moment right now and notice how you're breathing. Are you taking short, shallow breaths through your mouth? Or are you breathing deeply through your nose, pausing at the top and exhaling slowly?
Believe it or not, the way you breathe can have an immediate impact on your nervous system. But did you know that it also affects the health of your teeth? Yes, mouth breathing can potentially harm various aspects of your health, and we're here to dive into them so you can protect your oral and overall well-being.
The Benefits of Nose Breathing
Filters toxins: Your tiny nose hairs are like superheroes, filtering out allergens, microorganisms, and pathogens as you inhale. Mouth breathing lets these toxins directly enter your lungs.
Humidifies and warms the air: When you breathe through your nose, the air is closer to your body temperature, making it easier for your lungs to use.
Increases oxygen uptake: Nose breathing produces nitric oxide, which widens your blood vessels, enhancing brain function, regulating inflammation, promoting weight management, improving sleep quality, and nurturing your gut health.
In short, your nose was made for breathing and smelling, so let it do its job! On the other hand, mouth breathing can harm you in multiple ways:
- Allows more toxins into your mouth and body
- Causes dry mouth and increases the risk of tooth decay
- Increases snoring and disrupts restful sleep
- Negatively impacts your heart, brain, and lungs
Experts agree that mouth breathing is only necessary during intense exercise. Let's keep it that way!
Recognizing the Dental Signs of Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing doesn't just dry out your mouth; it also has negative effects on your oral health. Some signs to watch out for include:
- Increased oral pH leading to enamel erosion, sensitivity, gum disease, and tooth decay
- Bad breath due to reduced saliva production
- Enlarged tonsils, which can obstruct your airway and prompt mouth breathing
- TMJ and jaw clenching caused by the tongue moving away from the roof of your mouth
"Mouth breather" isn't just a term from Stranger Things; it's a serious condition that affects your oral and overall health!
Say Goodbye to Mouth Breathing
To break the habit of mouth breathing during the day, we recommend mindfulness practices to be aware of your breathing patterns. Implement deep breathing exercises through your nose and ensure your nasal passages are clear with saline sprays/flushes or using nose strips at night.
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