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Nasal Breathing


The Open Airway & Breath Institute is a dedicated holistic dentistry practice that prioritizes the importance of nasal breathing. Dr. Robin Steely, DDS understands the importance of nasal breathing and its impact on your overall wellness and well-being. Research has shown that nasal breathing is the correct way to breathe, our bodies are designed that way and get the most out of this proper habit. Your nose is actually specifically fashioned as an essential part of our respiratory system. When we utilize our nose for what it’s designed for, our bodies actually experience numerous health benefits.  

Prioritizing consistent nasal breathing can address the negative side effects of mouth breathing. By improving the basic functions of your body, we’ll be able to find natural, holistic solutions for certain conditions and side effects that you’ve been experiencing. Our wellness approach addresses all aspects of your physical health, solving the underlying problem. The Open Airway & Breath Institute’s team of nasal breathing specialists is honored to serve patients throughout the Battle Creek, Bedford Charter Township, Kalamazoo, Portage, Marshall, Richland, Holland, Grand Rapids, Hastings, Charlotte, Springfield, and Coldwater area. 

Health Benefits of Nasal Breathing


There are incredible health benefits associated with nasal breathing that any of our patients can take advantage of:

  • Reduced shortness of breath and/or snoring: Mouth breathing can drastically increase your shortness of breath or snoring.
  • Fight infections: Nasal breathing ensures warmed, moistened, conditioned air that’s mixed with nitric oxide enters our body, which provides two crucial functions. It works as a vasodilator while killing deadly bacteria. Our bodies have a gene that actually stimulates the nose’s receptors when you breathe through your nose. It stimulates nitric oxide which kills bacteria so you’re able to breathe less infectious air.
  • Better blood flow and lung volume: Studies have shown that nasal breathing increases blood oxygen, circulation, and carbon dioxide levels. This slows your breathing rate while optimizing lung volumes. Nasal breathing enables the vasodilation of nitric oxide which in turn increases the surface area of alveoli. Alveoli is where oxygen is absorbed, meaning improved oxygen absorption when you breathe through your nose.
  • Maintain body temperature: According to scientists, nasal breathing provides approximately 90% of the respiratory system’s air-conditioning requirement. The internal nose also recovers around 33% of exhaled moisture and heat.
  • Improve brain function: Nasal breathing enables air intake limits, forcing the action to slow down. This reduces hypertension and stress. The nasal breathing cycling is controlled by the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that’s responsible for automatic functions like appetite, heartbeat, sleep-wake cycle, and more. Research has shown that increased airflow in the left nostril is correlated with increased right-brain activity and heightened spatial performance, while increased airflow in the right nostril is associated with increased left-brain activity and better verbal performance.
  • Benefits for workouts: Nose breathing provides a 10% to 20% more O2 uptake than mouth breathing. It also slows the air escape so that your lungs have more time to absorb oxygen. This facilitates proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, helping your blood maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too rapidly through mouth breathing, our oxygen absorption is compromised. Mouth breathing causes hyperventilation which impacts your workout performance.
  • Stress relief: Nasal breathing helps promote a more relaxed state. Focusing on taking deep breaths through your nose when you’re stressed can help alleviate stress.

The Dangers of Mouth Breathing


Mouth breathing bypasses our body’s natural design for nasal breathing, which impedes on all the health benefits built into breathing through your nose. Mouth breathing should only be used for emergencies since it can lead to significant health problems. Here are the risks of mouth breathing:

  • Weakened diaphragm: Mouth breathing reduces your body’s oxygen levels. It also weakens the diaphragm over time by transferring the strength to hold back breathing through the mouth rather than engaging the diaphragm.
  • Bacteria exposure: The nose is designed to kill bacteria– if you breathe through your mouth, there is no mechanism for stopping this bacteria from reaching your body. This makes you more susceptible to infections and common colds.
  • Weakens your lungs and heart: Mouth breathing has been correlated to and exacerbates high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, and other health concerns. Chronic mouth breathing is responsible for overstimulating lungs, reducing blood circulation, and weakening your airways. Mouth breathing deprives your brain, heart, and other organs by significantly reducing your oxygen intake.
  • Increased risk for snoring and sleep apnea: Breathing through your mouth bypasses nasal mucosa which increases your risk for irregular breathing and loud snoring. Snoring can be a precursor to sleep apnea. Having sleep apnea heightens your risk for low cellular oxygen which can lead to life-threatening conditions.
  • Constricts blood flow: Your brain loses carbon dioxide too quickly due to mouth breathing, causing your goblet cells to produce mucus, slow your breathing, and constrict your blood vessels. The nitric oxide produced by nasal breathing not only kills bacteria, but it also plays a significant role in sexual arousal.
  • May impact your appearance: Chronic mouth breathing can create an anterior open bite and long face shape. Mouth breathing also accelerates water loss, increasing dehydration which can impact your physical appearance.

Changing Your Breathing Habits FOR BETTER WELLNESS

Practicing proper nasal breathing can help you train your body for when it is asleep. Studies have shown that mouth breathing in your sleep is one of the primary causes of loud snoring. The more you’re conscious about your breathing habits, the more you can benefit from nasal breathing. This great preventative habit can reduce your risk for snoring, sleep apnea, as well as numerous other health conditions. At the Open Airway & Breath Institute, Dr. Robin Steely, DDS and our team are dedicated to helping you create lifelong habits for better preventative care. 

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Contact the Open Airway & Breath Institute today, Dr. Robin Steely, DDS and our team are ready to help you find renewed energy and health. Together we’ll find viable ways to help you with your nasal breathing. By sharing mindful breathing techniques, we hope to address your overall health and well-being. We welcome patients from Battle Creek, Bedford Charter Township, Kalamazoo, Portage, Marshall, Richland, Holland, Grand Rapids, Hastings, Charlotte, Springfield, and Coldwater. Please contact us or call 269-968-8151, we look forward to working with you!

The Open Airway & Breath Institute

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