Why Nose-Breathing is really important
A general summary of why you should always breathe through your nose
- Most people’s faces these days are not fully developed. They tend to be too flat and too long. The chin then tends to be too far down and in –> This then restricts (and can block off!) the airway.
- The best looking faces, like models and athletes, are almost always well-developed laterally (with good cheekbones) and horizontally, i.e. both the upper and lower jaws are forward in the face, their airway capacity will be greatly enlarged and they will be able to fit in all their teeth including wisdom teeth easily.
- To develop the top jaw well, the tongue must rest on the palate to support it vertically and develop it outwards and forwards – to do this you must be able to breathe through your nose.
- Conversely, if the lips are apart, you are mouth-breathing - and your tongue must be low down (to allow air over it and into the lungs), and the top jaw becomes too narrow and small and usually with a high palate. As the roof of your mouth is the floor of your nose, the nasal air space becomes both narrower and shorter vertically (with a high palate), and drastically reduces the air that you can take in through your nose.
- The Upper jaw is made up of left and right Maxillary bones which join through the palate and nose. It holds your upper teeth, forms the lower part of the eye socket, starts to form the cheekbone, contains your maxillary sinuses and forms the outer bony casing and internal dimensions of the nose.
- Breathing through the nose needs a clear passage through the nose (bony architecture ok and no swollen mucosa), and past the adenoids, tonsils, uvula and tongue, and on down to the lungs
- Breathing in through the nose warms, filters bugs and irritants, and moistens the air, as well as increasing Nitric Oxide uptake. You should breath out through your nose too, (not out through the mouth as many of us were taught)
- Nitric Oxide helps to regulate blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, increases Oxygen uptake in the lungs, helps your sleep cycle, and helps to fight infections
- If the inside of your nose is swollen and inflamed (rhinitis) usually from allergies, the airway space is again reduced.
- The tonsils and adenoids are part of the lymphatic system which are essentially filters and processors of unwanted (often toxic) cells. If you are unwell they tend to swell up as there is more to filter – this can be bad enough to block off the airway. In kids especially, swollen adenoids can also block off the entrance to the Eustachian tube (which goes to the middle ear) and can lead to middle ear infections (Otitis media). ‘Grommets’ can be placed to hold open the Eustachian tube, (often the same effect can be made non-surgically, by building up the ‘baby’ teeth with fillings to increase the vertical height and keep space for the tube opening)
- Breathing from the diaphragm (rather than using chest muscles) acts like a large piston and creates positive and negative pressure, to not only inflate and deflate the lungs, but also tends to flush out the lymphatic system, i.e. if your tonsils are swollen, breathing from the diaphragm will help. (Apparently bouncing on a trampoline or ball can also help to move the lymph around the body).
- Breathing through the nose is a bit of a “use it or lose it” situation – i.e. if you don’t breathe through your nose it will inevitably block up, if you continue to breathe through your nose (even with a cold for example) it will stay unblocked. There are simple exercises to unblock noses, and personally we tend to tape our lips with ‘micropore’ tape at night to ensure we breathe through our nose – we do this not to be pedantic but because we usually feel more refreshed in the morning than if we had been mouth-breathing
- The reason for the the swelling or inflammation of the nasal lining and or tonsils and adenoids needs to be found. It could be irritants or allergens being breathed in, or could be from food allergies. Excess carbohydrates/ sugars also tend to lead to inflammation.