Mouth breathing

What is mouth breathing?

Mouth breathing is when a person breathes with their mouth open rather than through their nostrils - this can occur both in the day and whilst unconscious and asleep.

What causes mouth breathing?

Some of the known causes of mouth breathing are:
  • Asthma.
  • Hay fever can cause the nose to block.
  • A deviated septum may inhibit nose breathing.
  • Sleep apnoea.

How to prevent mouth breathing?

Here are some preventative tips for mouth breathing:
  • Mouth taping.
  • Visiting your GP and dentist regularly.
  • Maintaining your oral hygiene will help prevent any harmful effects of mouth breathing.
  • Practicing nose breathing whilst awake.
  • Propping your head up when sleeping so airflow through the nose is improved.

How to treat mouth breathing?

To treat mouth breathing you must understand the causes. For allergies, your doctor may recommend antihistamines. For conditions such as sleep apnoea and a deviated septum, we suggest contacting your GP.

The benefits of nose breathing:

Breathing through the nose is much better for the body than breathing through the mouth, as nose breathing allows the optimal absorption of oxygen. Mouth breathing creates an irregular airflow pattern, also leaving the mouth dry and harming the soft tissue at the back of the throat.
The warmth of oxygen produced by breathing through the nose is much better for our airways. Moisture is made when breathing through the nose, making the airflow much easier due to the natural lubrication. The absence of this natural lubrication can hinder those who mouth breathe, causing the airways to dry out, becoming hoarse and more prone to agitation.

We approximately take in 20% more oxygen when we breathe through the nose, making it a better alternative to mouth breathing.

Allergens are caught in the complex air system when we breathe through our nose, along with other invasive bacteria and matter. We can flush it out of our body with a sneeze. When mouth breathing this process is hindered and can cause those with sensitivity to things, to be more likely to react.

How to spot mouth breathing/ symptoms?

Mouth breathing can cause the mouth to dry out as well as the gums which will not only cause some discomfort but can also cause problems should the mouth not be hydrated enough.

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