Why should I stop breathing through my mouth?
Breathing through the nose is the way our bodies were designed to breathe. It’s estimated that up to 30-50% of adults breathe through their mouths. Scientists have linked habitual mouth breathing to various medical issues like sleep problems, tooth decay, jaw deformities in children, and not to mention, bad breath.
Here are some other reasons why you need to become a nose breather:
1. Helps fight infections
Your nose is a vital part of the respiratory system; it’s your first line of defense against bacteria and viruses—given you breathe through it. Microscopic hair in your nose, also referred to as cilia, works alongside mucous to trap potential pathogens.
When you breathe in through your nose, it humidifies and warms the air and stimulates nitric oxide that kills the bacteria, helping you breathe in relatively less infectious air. Assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Iowa, Nathan E. Holton Ph.D. explains how proper humidification is crucial to respiratory health, particularly in colder climates.
2. Improves your stamina
Breathing through the nose has another significant benefit: it enhances your endurance. A study has shown that your breathing rate lowers by 50 percent when you breathe through your nose. Plus, it also decreases the perceived exertion by 60 percent—this means that you can work out harder and relatively longer if you close your mouth.
3. Boosts cardiovascular health
In 1995, scientists found that our nose produces Nitric Oxide (NO), which is a vital compound for immune, cardiovascular, and sexual health. During the act of breathing in, the NO follows your airstreams to the lungs and lower airways where it circulates through the bloodstream. This plays a vital role in the opening and closing of the blood vessels, in addition to neurotransmission, respiration, and immune defense.
Researchers have also pointed out that mouth breathing causes depletion in carbon dioxide levels, reduces blood circulation, and may even slow down reflexes. Chronic mouth breathing can cause your airways to become dried and constricted. Therefore, mouth breathing denies all your organs of optimal oxygenation, leading to cardiac disease symptoms in the long run.
Buteyko Breathing Method offers people various tools to learn how to breathe nasally 24/7. People who practice this breathing technique can reduce their excessive air consumption and switch to wholesome, gentle, and relaxed breathing patterns. This not only soothes your nervous system but also increases the overall oxygenation of the body.