The Importance of Nasal Breathing
Everyone breathes…but are you breathing properly? Breathing through your nose – as opposed to breathing through your mouth – can be the key to a good night’s sleep.
Why Is Nasal Breathing Important?
Breathing comes naturally, and most of us don’t tend to think about it much. However, nasal breathing – as opposed to breathing through your mouth – can lead to better quality sleep and overall well-being.
The nose is specifically designed for breathing, and has many functions that enable you to breathe properly, efficiently, and safely. The first of these is the nose’s ability to filter out foreign particles such as dust, pollen, and allergens. Breathing through your nose helps to prevent these particles from entering your lungs. In addition, your nose releases nitric oxide (NO), a vasodilator that helps to widen blood vessels, during nasal breathing, which can help improve the circulation of oxygen throughout your body. Finally, your nose helps to warm and moisturize the air you inhale to your body temperature, which makes breathing in easier on your lungs.
Since your nose was designed to breathe, nasal breathing benefits include but are not limited to reduced exposure to foreign substances, improving your lung volume, increasing air flow to nerves, arteries, and veins, aiding your immune system, increasing your circulation, lowering your risk of developing allergies and hay fever, and lowering your risk for sleep apnea and snoring.
The Dangers Of Mouth Breathing
An estimated 30-50% of adults breathe through their mouth every day. While you can breathe through your mouth, it was primarily designed to help you speak, drink, and eat, and doesn’t possess many of the unique and helpful features that your nose does for breathing purposes.
While mouth breathing is necessary in some cases – for instance, if you have small nostrils, a deviated septum, or congestion – there are also downsides. Breathing through your mouth means your mouth loses moisture, which can lead to dry mouth, bad breath, and gum inflammation (also known as gingivitis). Mouth breathing can also increase your risk of allergic reactions to allergens, of developing asthma, of experiencing teeth or jaw abnormalities, of inhaling unfiltered air, and can even exacerbate snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), as it can increase airway collapse and nasal resistance.
Nasal Breathing and Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep, and therefore repeatedly deprives your body of oxygen. When your oxygen level dips, your body may signal you to start suddenly gasping or gulping in air quickly. Experiencing this phenomenon often, you can develop a habit of breathing with your mouth open to accommodate your body’s need for more oxygen.
Here at SomnoMed, we’ve ensured that our oral devices help promote nasal breathing. The anterior fulcrum design of the SomnoDent® Avant™ gently closes patients’ mouths, so that they breathe through their nose while asleep. This eliminates snoring in most people, as well as prevents dry mouth – a common complaint with other oral appliances.
Nasal breathing not only encourages an increase in blood oxygenation and the amount of oxygen delivered to tissues and organs – along with other benefits – but it also promotes a healthier, sounder, and quieter sleep.
If you’d like to learn more about how a SomnoMed device can help with your nasal breathing – thereby helping with snoring and sleep apnea and/or that of a loved one’s – reach out to us! We’re here to help every step of the journey: https://somnomed.com/en/find-a-clinic/