Mouth Breathing – FIX it for Good

Why Nasal Breathing is Better

Are you tired of CONSTANTLY mouth breathing?

If not, you should be. It might be the KEY to improving your health.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into:

  • The health benefits of nasal breathing
  • The negative mouth-breathing consequences
  • How to best nasal breathe (HINT: It’s more than only breathing through your nose)

Check out the post and video below to get into it!

Why Nasal Breathing Matters

You might be thinking “Why does it matter how I breathe? Can’t I just breathe through my mouth like a normal person?”

Trust me, I was far from normal

Considering the health of “normal people,” let’s think again.

Let’s look at the positive health benefits of nasal breathing first.

Nasal breathing:

  • Increases nitric oxide production, which dilates blood vessels and bronchi
  • Humidifies air, which makes it easier on the lungs
  • Reduces inhaled pathogens/dust (source)

Contrast that with the negative health consequences of mouth breathing:

  • Lower Nitric oxide lung concentrations
  • Increased anxiety symptoms (source)
  • Abnormal facial/dental development (source)
  • Cardiovascular disease (source)
  • Halitosis/bad breath
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnea (source)
  • Tooth decay
  • Increased risk of respiratory infections
  • Reduce brain oxygenation, which can impact certain cognitive functions (source)

Given the stark contrast, it makes sense to nasal breathe like a BOSS.

But it’s more complicated than only breathing through your nose.

According to this study, oropharyngeal exercises trumped nasal breathing alone for sleep apnea.

Below are some examples of that in this playlist.

Some of my go-to moves

Optimal nasal breathing requires the best of both worlds. Here’s how we can incorporate both concepts.

The 3 Keys to Nasal Breathing

There are three major keys to mastering nasal breathing:

1. Tongue posture

2. Lip posture

3. Nasal breath quality

Let’s dive into how to nail each piece.

Tongue posture

The tongue should be GENTLY placed on the roof of the mouth between the teeth. This helps seal off the oral airway and pulls the nasal floor down.

Notice how the tongue is right up against the soft palate (photo credit – Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014)

Sometimes, limited tongue mobility can impact this action. Here’s how to address the inability to achieve this posture.

Can’t get the tongue to the roof of the mouth

You can start by placing the tip of the tongue on the rugae, the rough patch of skin on the front of the mouth roof.

Aka the yellow spot, fam (photo credit: Dr. Johannes Sobotta)

If you struggle to get the back of the tongue up, clucking can help encourage the back of the tongue to come up.

Tongue motion as a whole can still be limited at the point. Working on mouth opening with this tongue posture can improve tongue mobility.

The tongue can’t fit between the teeth

Exercises that encourage the tongue to get smaller side to side are key here. For that, the pointy tongue is my go-to:

Lip posture

Lips should gently rest together. They should not be forced closed.

If you struggle with lip posture, various lip stretches can improve facial dynamics.

My top choices are stretching the upper lip (great if you can’t close your lips)

Cheek blowing is also good if you can contact your lips, but not in a relaxed

If this exercise is too difficult, swishing water is an easier variation.

Nasal breath quality

Nasal breathing should be easy and effortless. Not forced in any way.

The cue that I use is to imagine Micheal Myers from the Halloween movies is nearby. THAT QUIET.

If you struggle with that, you may consider using nasal strips or checking out a nasal dilator.

Putting it All Together

Once you have these pieces mastered, you can then nasal breathe LIKE A BOSS.

Those keys are:

1. Tongue to the roof of the mouth

2. Lips gently closed

3. Quiet through the nose

Sum up

By following these steps and with practice, nasal breathing can improve quickly. The health benefits may come as fast!

To recap:

  • Nasal breathing has positive health benefits
  • Mouth breathing has several negative health consequences
  • Effective nasal breathing requires good tongue and lip posture, and also must be quiet
  • Specific exercises can improve deficits in any of these areas.

What struggles have you had with nasal breathing? Comment below and let us know!