Why You Should Never Breathe Through Your Mouth

Why You Should Never Breathe Through Your Mouth

Why You Should Never Breathe Through Your Mouth

For the most part, people tend to breathe through their nose. After all, that’s what those two nostrils are there for, right?

Breathing through your mouth is usually reserved for those times when your nose isn’t quite up to sniff (see what I did there?). Perhaps you’re congested from allergies or a cold, maybe you’ve just finished an intense cardio workout and need to catch your breath. Whatever the reason, I’m sure it’s a valid one.

But are there any downsides to breathing through your mouth? Well, my curious reader, let me tell you – there are indeed. And because I’m nice like that, I’m going to tell you all about them.

11 reasons why you shouldn’t breathe through your mouth

1. Mouth breathing can make you snore like a bear

You know that annoying person on the train or plane who snores so loudly they could wake up everyone but themselves? Well, if you breathe through your mouth too much, you could end up becoming that person.

When you breathe through your mouth, the air flows faster and doesn’t get filtered or moistened like it would if you were breathing through your nose. This can cause irritation to the tissues in your throat, leading to snoring.

2. Your mouth and throat dry out

The Sahara Desert is a dry, barren place. If you want your mouth and throat to feel like it, go ahead and breathe through that hole in your face instead of those perfectly good nostrils.

Breathing through your mouth for long periods of time can cause your mouth and throat to dry out. This is because, as already stated, when the air enters, it doesn’t get filtered or moistened like with nasal breathing.

3. Increased risk of infections

Your nose acts as a filter for the air you breathe in, trapping harmful particles such as dust and bacteria before they can make their way into your body. If you’re breathing through your mouth instead, those bad things have an easier time slipping past your first line of defense.

Mouth-breathing makes it more likely that viruses or bacteria will enter through our respiratory system, which can lead to infections such as sinusitis and bronchitis.

4. It can worsen asthma symptoms

If you suffer from asthma, mouth breathing could actually be making your condition worse.

Breathing through your nose helps to warm and humidify the air before it gets into your lungs. Mouth-breathing bypasses these protective mechanisms and leads to a loss of moisture in the respiratory tract, which may lead to increased inflammation and worsening asthma symptoms.

5. Your teeth might suffer

Believe it or not, how you breathe can actually affect your teeth. Mouth breathing creates a dry environment inside the mouth and allows bacteria to thrive, which could lead to cavities.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, due to the pressure from your tongue on your teeth, constant mouth-breathing can also affect the alignment of your teeth over time.

6. Bad breath

Well, this one’s kind of obvious, isn’t it? If you frequently breathe through your mouth, chances are your breath might end up smelling like something died in there! The reason being, as we’ve mentioned before, mouth-breathing creates a dry environment that allows bacteria to multiply more easily.

Bacteria produce volatile sulfur compounds as they break down food particles and other debris in the mouth. These are responsible for bad breath.

7. You’ll be catching flies

Okay, I couldn’t resist putting this one in here. But seriously, folks, if you’re breathing through your mouth with abandon and don’t watch where you’re going, there’s a good chance that some unsuspecting insect might end up becoming lunch.

Nature isn’t flying around, hoping to be swallowed down or anything like that, but you definitely increase the odds of inhaling these little critters when breathing through your mouth. (They’re apparently pretty nutritious, though, so there’s that…)

8. It can make you look dumb

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger here! I’m just telling it like it is. The term “mouth-breather” is often used to mock someone who’s perceived to be… let’s just say not too bright. It suggests that they’re breathing through their mouth because they haven’t quite figured out how to use that fancy nose on their face.

9. It can affect your physical performance

If you’re an athlete or enjoy exercising, mouth-breathing could be hampering your progress. Nasal breathing is essential while working out because it helps maintain proper oxygen flow within the body.

Mouth-breathing reduces the amount of oxygen that gets into your lungs. This could cause you to get tired faster, as well as reduce endurance and overall performance.

10. Mouth-breathing can affect a child’s development

Mouth-breathing isn’t just problematic for adults – children are vulnerable too! Kids who breathe through their mouths frequently may end up with a smaller upper jaw, leading to crowded teeth and an unbalanced or narrow lower face structure compared to normal nasal breathers.

It can also lead to sleep-disordered breathing, which could affect their growth and development. In some cases, it may even cause learning difficulties due to lack of oxygen supply.

11. Your sleeping patterns could be disturbed

We spend a third of our lives asleep (unless maybe you’re Beyonce, who I imagine doesn’t sleep because she’s too busy being fabulous). If you want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day instead of groggy and irritable, mouth breathing is not your friend.

Sleeping with your mouth open can cause snoring, as we mentioned earlier, which could lead to poor quality sleep. Plus, because mouth breathing causes dryness in the throat, it may increase susceptibility to coughing or even worsening symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.

Wrapping things up

What can I say? The drawbacks of breathing through your mouth are numerous. It’s astounding, really.

But don’t worry – there are solutions! If you find that you’re breathing through your mouth too often, try one or more of these tips:

  • Use a saline spray to relieve congested nasal passages
  • Treat allergies if necessary with proper medication (after consulting an expert)
  • Sleep on your side instead of your back
  • Practice breathing exercises that focus on nasal breath work
  • Take frequent breaks when exercising to catch your breath using proper breathing techniques

The bottom line is this: Breathing through the nose should be our default mode. Not only does it come naturally but also has numerous benefits associated with maintaining optimal health for the whole body.