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Mouth breathing: What it does to you and simple ways to prevent it

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

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Take a second to notice the way you are breathing. Are you inhaling and exhaling through your nose or mouth? Humans have evolved to breathe through our noses to avoid choking while eating, which is considered the more ‘superior’ way of taking in air.

But some of us may develop mouth breathing as we grow or are simply born this way. It can seriously affect your health, teeth, sleep, and overall well-being if it continues uncorrected.

Read on to learn more about how breathing through the mouth affects you and how you can gradually correct it!

Nose breathing vs mouth breathing

Sorry mouth breathers, but what you are doing is not the most efficient. Our bodies breathe on autopilot, so you would think it is doing so in a way that’s best for us. After all, as long as we take in enough air to stay alive, it should be A-Okay, right?

Actually, no! When you breathe in through your nose or mouth, two different sets of processes are at play. Let’s look at why nose breathing is more favorable than mouth breathing:

Air that goes through the nose passes through complex structures that warm, humidify, pressurize, and filter it so that it can be readily and easily absorbed into the blood when it gets to the lungs. Because of this, nose breathing is capable of helping us extract up to 20% more oxygen than breathing through the mouth.

While this might not seem like much, it can make a massive difference. Imagine getting a 20% off shopping voucher every time you shop; wouldn’t that add up to a lot of savings? Now, imagine getting 20% more air every time you breathe!

Studies have shown that breathing through your nose when exercising reduces your breathing rate and can boost your stamina, making you feel less tired. There is a good chance that you might appreciate exercising even more!

By filtering the air for dust, pollen, germs, viruses, and other allergens, the nose's filtration system also plays a vital role in defending the body as it is its first line of defense.