Nose breathing is our ingrained biological process of inhaling air. With the spread of face mask use due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mouth breathing has become an unconscious practice of most patients. However, gasping for the limited air under a face mask through the mouth robs the benefits we get from nose breathing.
As a trusted dentist in Charlotte and Concord Mills, Modern Family Dental Care aims to remind our patients that our nose is responsible for proper inhalation and provides certain benefits that our mouth cannot provide.
Mouth breathing vs. nose breathing
Most of us unconsciously switch our breathing patterns from our nose to our mouth, depending on the situation. Relief-wise, mouth breathing can provide more air, especially when you’re in a hot area, wearing a face mask, or running out of breath when walking or exercising.
Breathing through your mouth can give you the instant volume of air that you need. As convenient as it seems, the air entering your mouth is unfiltered, which goes directly to your lungs.
In addition, you may also experience a dry mouth which makes you susceptible to tooth decay, bad breath, and other dental conditions. Mouth breathing also puts you at risk for the following medical conditions:
- Allergies (pollen)
- Jaw problems
5 Advantages of nose breathing under a face mask
We are designed to breathe oxygen through our nose and spread it accordingly in our lungs and bloodstream. Unlike the mouth, it acts as a filtration system for foreign bodies and viruses. The whole respiratory system also responds to the air from the nose differently.
Even with the relaxation of COVID restrictions, face masks will be with us for a while. With that, we hope that you will keep breathing through your nose under a face mask so you can reap the following health benefits:
Cleaner air gets into the lungs
The nose has a mucous membrane that helps keep the air warm and moist to prevent the bacteria from getting directly to the soft tissues. The hair on your nose also keeps the pollutants in the air from going directly to your body. So, nose breathing is like setting up a line of defense for your respiratory system.
Increased anti-inflammatory aids through nitric oxide
Nitric oxide is a gas produced from our nasal passages and paranasal sinuses. As we inhale oxygen, our nose and sinuses simultaneously produce and serve as a nitric oxide pathway. According to a clinical review, nitric oxide in the body serves as a potent bronchodilator and vasodilator. It means that it helps prevent inflammation and widen the blood vessels and bronchi in our lungs for better respiratory function and increasing blood flow.
Maintain normal blood pressure
As a vasodilator, nitric oxide helps widen the blood vessels that increases the oxygen in the blood. Consequently, this process helps maintain lower blood pressure. According to Dr. Hernan Chang in his book Nitric Oxide: The Mighty Molecule, nitric oxide serves a crucial role in heart health, endocrine system, and immune systems and is extremely significant throughout the human body.
Better relaxation and digestion
Yoga and breathing exercises help promote relaxation for a reason. Nose breathing triggers a part in the parasympathetic nervous system that promotes rest through slower heart rate, recovery, and digestion. So even in a stressful state, a deep inhalation from the nose can help you relax and keep high blood pressure at bay.
Increased lung volume and proper diaphragm process
Breathing through your nose helps your lungs be more efficient in absorbing oxygen. It also activates the lower part of the lungs when we are doing deep breathing exercises. Breathing through your nose also serves as an aerobic exercise for your lungs to help them function from 80% to 100%.
Let Modern Family Dental Care help you breathe better even under a face mask
Oral health not only pertains to your teeth and gums but also the overall function of your mouth. Mouth breathing can only provide temporary relief but can cause a lifetime of problems on your jaw, lung, and oral cavity, like sleep apnea.
Check out Dr. Taj discussing the benefits of nose breathing to your overall health below:
If you are a chronic mouth breather, schedule an appointment today and let us help you achieve the healthiest version of yourself.