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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Physicians and yogis agree: Breathing through the nose is best

• Breathing through the nose is a common practice in yoga, thanks to its many benefits. • Physicians also recommend breathing through the nose, as it provides a natural filter. • Breathing through the mouth can lead to poor oral health and bad breath. According to Heather Yoga, yoga is an ancient practice whose adherents have studied the role of breathing in wellness for centuries, with many practitioners preferring breathing through the nose, as opposed to the mouth.

KTM Yoga reports that, while most people should try to breathe through their noses more frequently, approximately 60% of adults breathe through their mouths more frequently instead. Hair and mucus within the nose act as natural filters for bacteria and dust, and nasal breathing works to increase oxygen intake and boost brain activity. Nasal breathing also helps to slow your airflow, which widens blood vessels and slows your heart rate, increasing feelings of calmness.

McCarl Dental Group says that those who suffer from allergies or chronic sinus problems have an increased likelihood of breathing through their mouths, with mouth breathing potentially leading to oral health issues.

Oral breathing dries saliva, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up on the teeth, possibly leading to cavities, gum disease, and chronic bad breath. Regular mouth breathing over time can also lead to strained jaw joints, snoring, sleep apnea, enlarged tonsils, and a higher risk for airway disorders, including asthma. Dr. James Oberman of Frederick Breathe Free Sinus & Allergy Centers discussed the benefits of the balloon sinuplasty procedure in an interview with the North Baltimore Journal.

"What [balloon sinuplasty] does is it addresses the anatomy in a minimally invasive, comfortable way for the patient without having to undergo general anesthesia, which was the conventional approach typical before the innovation with the balloons," Oberman said. "Under topical and local anesthesia, you can find the normal anatomic opening and widen it. So if you can open that anatomy with the balloon, it's much less morbidity, safer for the patient, as well as more cost-effective and efficient."

For more information about the symptoms of allergies and chronic sinusitis, take this Sinus Self-Assessment Quiz.

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