How does chronic mouth breathing affect our health and what role does a crooked nose play in nasal breathing?

Breathing through the nose plays an important role in respiratory health and overall well-being. While occasional mouth breathing is normal and often necessary, consistently avoiding nasal breathing can have certain effects on your body. Here are a few potential consequences:

  1. Impaired air filtration: The nose acts as a natural filter, trapping dust, allergens, and pollutants present in the air. By breathing primarily through the mouth, you bypass this filtration system, allowing these particles to enter your respiratory system more easily. This can potentially lead to respiratory issues, allergies, or increased susceptibility to respiratory infections.
  2. Reduced humidity and moisture: The nasal passages humidify and moisturize the inhaled air, which helps prevent the drying out of the respiratory tract. Mouth breathing can result in decreased moisture levels in the airways, leading to dryness, discomfort, and potentially contributing to throat and respiratory problems.
  3. Altered breathing pattern: Breathing through the nose promotes slower and more diaphragmatic breathing, which is beneficial for relaxation, stress reduction, and efficient oxygen exchange. On the other hand, mouth breathing tends to be shallower and may disrupt the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body. This can affect your overall respiratory efficiency and potentially impact your energy levels, concentration, and sleep quality.
  4. Dental and oral health implications: Consistent mouth breathing can affect oral health by altering the oral environment. It may contribute to dry mouth, bad breath, and an increased risk of dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Breathing through the nose encourages proper tongue posture, which aids in the development of the dental arches and can help prevent orthodontic problems.
  5. Sleep disturbances: Nasal breathing is particularly important during sleep. When you breathe through your nose, the air is warmed, filtered, and humidified before reaching the lungs, promoting optimal sleep quality. Breathing through the mouth during sleep can lead to snoring, dry mouth, and disrupted sleep patterns.

If you’re experiencing difficulties breathing through your nose, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) or a primary care physician. They can help identify any underlying issues and provide appropriate guidance or treatment options.