Dangers and harms of mouth breathing

Do you know how you breathe? By taking approximately 25,000 breaths a day, an adult provides a vital amount of oxygen. We normally breathe through our nose automatically. Statistics show that 40 percent of adults breathe mostly through their mouths without even realizing it.

Breathing through the mouth is not good for the body, it is much better to breathe through the nose. The wrong way to breathe can lead to a variety of physical symptoms, such as rapid sighing, dry mouth, snoring, and even sleep apnea.

What the body tells you about breathing


If you've taken a breath-hold test and lasted less than 20 seconds, you're probably breathing through your mouth. Breathing through the mouth comes with many physical signs. For example, frequent sighing, stuffy tongue, dry mouth, snoring, sleep apnea, blocked sinuses, and enlarged tonsils can all indicate improper breathing technique.

The tonsils – are part of the immune system, they try to protect the body from inhaled bacteria, viruses and pollutants. When a person inhales too much air through the mouth, the tonsils enlarge, and this constant activity can lead to swelling, which narrows the nasopharynx and makes nasal breathing difficult. But our tonsils are not designed for such constant large-scale activity; cleaning the air – that's the job of the nose.

Changes in the mouth and throat can also indicate improper breathing technique. A high, narrow palate and slightly crooked teeth can be obvious signs of mouth breathing. The frenulum of the tongue may also be shortened, causing the tongue to rest on the lower jaw. This can lead to loss of tongue tone and even partial or complete loss of tongue visibility when a person opens his or her mouth. The height of the uvula can also be used to estimate approximately how narrow the airway is.

Breathing exercises for long-term results

The good news is that by switching from breathing through the mouth to breathing through the nose, many of these symptoms can be relieved. However, this is not always an easy task. Special breathing exercises can help you achieve long-lasting results if done regularly.

These exercises can help with dry mouth, snoring, and sleep apnea. Overloaded pharyngeal tonsils will also decrease in size as nasal breathing increases with regular practice. Taking control of your breathing – is a simple preventative measure that will improve your overall health and well-being.

Why it's bad for you to breathe through your mouth, and how to improve your breathing technique.