mouth breathing

Nasal Breathing vs Mouth Breathing

mouth breathingThousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, CA

Unless you suffer from asthma or some other ailment that makes breathing difficult, you probably never thought about the way you breathe. The reality, however, is that the way you breathe can have a major effect on your health.

Disadvantages of breathing through the mouth

If you breathe regularly through the mouth, this is known as “over breathing” because you are bringing in more air than you need. Despite this surplus of air, you actually absorb an inefficient quantity of oxygen breathing through the mouth.

Mouth breathing while you sleep also makes you more likely to become a snorer, which is a precursor to developing a sleep breathing disorder like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA sufferers are at a much greater risk of major, chronic ailments such as cardiac disease and high blood pressure.

Advantages of breathing through the nose 

Did you know that most of your oxygen uptake happens as you exhale? This is just one reason why nasal breathing is advantageous. Nasal breaths are longer, shallower and have a longer exhale which allows more time for your body to absorb oxygen.

Breathing through the nose also encourages vasodilation of the blood vessels in the airways, arteries, and capillaries, which keeps blood pressure at an optimal level. Oxygen capacity of the lungs also increases, thanks to the nitric oxide that is produced through nasal breathing.

If you or a member of your family is frequently breathing through the mouth, this is a correctable behavior. At Integrative Dental Arts, Dr. Kathleen Carson can prescribe a short course of mouth taping while you sleep—also known as the Buteyko method. We also can customize an oral appliance to be worn that will place your mouth and tongue in the ideal position for nasal breathing: with lips and teeth closed, and the tongue placed against the roof of the mouth.

Ready to learn more about our treatment options for mouth breathing? Call Integrative Dental Arts at (818) 889-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Integrative Dental Arts provides oral health care with a holistic approach for patients in the Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village communities of southern California.