Overview – often overlooked, yet imbalances in the way we breathe affects body chemistry
Ideally we should breathe through our nose 8-12 times/minute, with our tongue resting on our palate.
Our nose is designed to filter, warm and humidify the air we breathe. More than that nasal breathing allows for the generation of Nitric Oxide a very important compound due to the ability to expand blood vessels or vasodilation. Nitric Oxide makes the blood vessel walls relax and more flexible and lowers blood pressure and increase blood flow. Humming or playing the didgeridoo also increases the generation of NO in the paranasal sinuses due to the vibrations it generates. Inhalation of NO increases the blood flow in the alveoli in the lungs and this results in more oxygen being taken up into the blood by 10-15%. NO is like the nitroglycerine mouth spray in treatment for angina that relax the blood vessels of the heart.
NO also has a strong inhibiting effect on bacteria fungi and viruses and a beneficial effect on the little cilia movement helping to remove particles and help in keeping the upper airway healthy.
There is also a link between low NO levels and many diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, digestive tract issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, erectile dysfunction, and bladder issues
We swallow 1000-2000/day and ideally our tongue is resting on the roof of our mouth. In this way our upper jaw may develop to its full potential with enough room for our lower jaw and for all 32 teeth that nature has provided us.
If we breathe through our mouth, our breathing is dysfunctional.Our upper and lower jaws may not develop to their full potential, the air will not be filtered, our bodies may be more acidic and our posture can also be affected.
Mouth breathing or dysfunctional breathing affects whole-body health.
Most people if asked if they are a nose or a mouth breather, will answer that they breathe through their nose. However a large percentage of the population are mouth breathers even without them realising this.
Yet with correcting the breathing pattern the soft tissues and muscles will follow,resulting in a stable tooth position and proper function in the oral environment.