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Breathing relation to dental and overall health

Breathing through the mouth or nose is critical for your health
Breathing through the mouth or nose is critical for your health

I received a life-long lesson about breathing while at a dentist appointment. I didn’t know how important breathing is to my overall health. Did you know there is a huge difference between breathing through the nose as opposed thought the mouth? Also, it turned out breathing and dental health are very related. Who would have thought I would learn something so critical to my overall health from my dentist!! Keep reading as your life may change as did mine!

During my annual exam my dentist recommended orthodontics intervention. He wanted to improve my bite, straighten my teeth and improve my tongue position. I always wanted to straighten my teeth but beauty was not a good justification. This time was different. My dentist talked about the importance of breathing through the nose as opposed through the mouth. He explained why I need to go through the physiological orthodontics procedure to fix my mouth breathing. It wasn’t just about straightening teeth and having a beautiful smile. It was about my entire health! Below are a few points from our conversation.



Importance of breathing through the nose for optimal health

Breathing through the mouth leads to low oxygen levels which is unfavorable to your body and brain. Breathing through the nose is the desired state. When breathing through the nose, the air gets filtered through the nostrils and reaches your body in a cleaner state. The air is also warmed up which allows for better oxygen absorption by the body. Compromised airways cause oxygen starvation to the cells in the body and affects almost every organ in the human body. Here is the break down:

Nasal Breathing:

  • The nasal passages are our first line of defense against illness as they prepare inhaled air for the lungs
  • Nitric Oxide (produced in the paranasal sinuses) keeps the sinuses sterile, kills invaders in inhaled air, as well as improves oxygen utilization and exchange in the lungs
  • Nasal breathing removes dust, mildew, mold, animal dander, smoke, and so on from inhaled air via cilia containing a layer of mucous which traps debris and pathogens
  • Nose breathing leads air to the bottom of the lungs where oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream

Mouth breathing:

  • When mouth breathing the air doesn’t get filtered and cleaned
  • Mouth breathing leads to more shallow breathing near the top of the lungs
  • Blood vessels can detect less oxygen in the lungs leading to vasoconstriction which raises blood pressure. This making the heart work harder
  • People who mouth breath bypass the nose breathing system which often results in enlarged tonsils, snoring, fatigue, and illness



Breathing through the nose as an indicator of dental health

Breathing is an indicator of one’s dental health. For example, the reason I was breathing through the mouth was because I had dental issues I didn’t know about. I had an unaligned bite, dis-positioned tongue, incorrect swallowing, cracked teeth and narrow teeth arch. I saw many dentists in Europe and United States, and no-one talked about tongue position, breathing, swallowing, etc. All they would talk about was cavities.

Then my current dentist came along. He explained all about the imbalances of my dental health making me breath through the mouth. He explained how breathing through the mouth negatively affects my entire body. Specifically, the unbalanced teeth, tongue, joints and face muscle alignment cause an obstruction of the airway. When the airway is partially blocked you start breathing through the mouth. When breathing throught the mouth you body changes over time. It strives to get the needed oxygen and slowly deforms. That is how you get poor posture, changes in your face, etc. So, if you mouth breath, check how good is your overall dental health beyond cavities.



My decision – to be or not to be

It was a no brainer decision to go through the physiological orthodontics intervention. I understood that the physiological approach will solve multiple issues for me:

  1. It would fix fundamental dental issues I was having such as bite, crocked teeth, and incorrect tongue posture
  2. It would free up my blocked airway to breath through the nose. See nasal breathing paragraph above for more details on benefits of breathing through the nose.
  3. I will finally have a beautiful and healthy smile. Maybe all the research proving that looks matter could be true.

Physiological Orthodontics Procedure

I had appliances for 6 months to expand my teeth arch. This freed up room for my tongue and unblocked my airway so I can breath through the nose. I didn’t have to have any teeth pulled (as opposed to the traditional orthodontics approach). I have been wearing braces for a year now. The braces will align my bite, straighten up my teeth, and train my tongue to swallow correctly. It will also put bones, muscles, and joints into the best position. Now, I breath much easier through the nose, my gums don’t bleed anywhere and generally I feel much better. When I take off the braces, I will also enjoy easy teeth cleaning, easier chewing, looking good (ha) etc.



How can you tell if you are breathing through the nose

Now that I have experienced and understood how important breathing through the nose is, here are some tips and examples of how you can find out if you are breathing through the nose or mouth.

  • When sitting at a desk, watching TV or driving, do you breathe through the nose or mouth? Is your mouth closed or open?
  • When sleeping ask someone to see if you are sleeping with an open mouth. That would be an indicator you are breathing through the mouth
  • Are you snoring? If so, chances are you are breathing through your mouth.
  • Is your mouth closed most of the time? If so, that would mean you are breathing through the nose.
  • Ask your dentist to look at your swallowing pattern and determine if it needs correction
  • Is your posture compromised? If so, it could be related to your breathing pattern, swallowing, tongue posture and your dental health


Final thoughts

In summary, breathing, dental health and overall health go hand in hand. If you do find out that you are a mouth breather, I encourage you to talk to a dentist that specializes in physiologic orthodontics. If needed he/she can refer you to a specialist such as ENT or other doctors depending on your case. After my conversation with my dentist, I understood that straightener up my teeth is just a scratch on the surface to so many issues that this procedure fixes. I have been going through the physiological orthodontics procedure for the last 18 months (the procedure timeline depends on your case) and I am extremely satisfied with the results. So much that I am having my 6 year old daughter go through the treatment as well. Yes, as long as kids have their 4 molar permanent teeth erupted they can have the appliance placed on them and enjoy better growth and development as they grow.


* Information and statements made by be Healthy be Happy are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. be Healthy be Happy does not provide medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by be Healthy be Happy are not to replace conventional medical service. Any choices and decisions you are making are at your own risk. If you have a medical condition or health concern, contact your physician.

3 thoughts on “Breathing relation to dental and overall health

  1. I got a lot of useful tips about overall approach from this article. Thank you very much!
    I have another article about overall approach. Maybe you will be interested in it^_^
    Parenting Styles – WiserParenting

  2. I got a lot of useful tips about overall approach from this article. Thank you very much!
    I have another article about overall approach. Maybe you will be interested in it^_^
    Parenting Styles – WiserParenting

    1. Thanks for checking our site. Yes, parenting is an important aspect of life and future generations. We are glad you are writing about healthier parenting too! Feel free to link some of your articles with ours.

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