CURRENT COVID PROTOCOL STATUS: Effective April 3rd, 2023, the Washington State Department of Health will end the masking requirements in healthcare. You may choose to wear a mask in our office if you prefer. As usual if you are experience ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 or have been in contact with anyone that has been exposed or tested positive, we ask that you do not come into our office at this time. Symptomps may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you any of these symptoms, you may have COVID-19. As always for the safety of you and the health of those around you we encourage you to be tested.

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Is There a Wrong Way to Breathe?

“Mouth-breather” has made the rounds as an insult in recent years.

It may surprise you that breathing primarily through the mouth instead of the nose can actually have some pretty negative effects on health, including oral health. Mouth-breathing should only be done as an emergency backup, not the main way to breathe.

The Nose Is a Built-In Air Filter

The nose has a built-in filtration system and triggers nitric oxide production, helping our lungs absorb oxygen better. We don’t get any of that from mouth breathing. Short-term effects of mouth breathing include dry mouth, reduced oxygen levels, and impaired speech. Dry mouth is particularly dangerous for dental health, because saliva is the teeth and gums’ first line of defense against bacteria and acid. We also need saliva to taste our food!

Mouth-Breathing Can Change the Shape of the Face

Children who grow up breathing mainly through their mouths can actually develop differently, their faces becoming flatter, with weaker chins and droopy eyelids as they grow up. They are more likely to have complex orthodontic problems, with narrow arches and lots of crowding. Other long-term effects for habitual mouth-breathers include an increased likelihood of sleep apnea, which in turn comes with low energy, poor concentration, and a weaker immune system.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.