• 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.
Dr. Monty Trimble of Dallas Breathe Free Sinus & Allergy Centers discussed how sinus problems can lead to difficulty with nasal breathing, which can in turn lead to other health issues, in an interview with NE Dallas News.
"There are probably two basic reasons that people have tooth pain from sinusitis: One, they have an acute sinus infection, and so the actual infection sensitizes the teeth and makes them painful," Trimble said. "The other thing that often happens when people have acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis is that it has a negative impact on breathing through the nose. Having to work harder to breathe through the nose always increases the tendency to grind and clench the teeth, and so a lot of times people not only have upper tooth pain but also have lower tooth pain. And the reason is the breathing issue, so if we correct those problems, then it seems like that issue has improved significantly."
According to U.K.-based company Heather Yoga, yoga is an ancient practice whose adherents (yogis) have studied the role of breathing in human wellness for centuries. Many practices and practitioners prefer breathing through the nose instead of the mouth.
KTM Yoga reports that, although most people need to focus on breathing through their noses more frequently, up to 60% of adults often breathe through their mouths instead. Hair and mucus within the nose act as filters for bacteria and dust, and nasal breathing works to increase oxygen intake and boost brain activity. In addition, nasal breathing also works to slow the body's airflow, widening blood vessels and slowing the heart rate, increasing feelings of calm.
According to McCarl Dental Group, sufferers of allergies or chronic sinus problems are more inclined to breathe orally, although mouth breathing can lead to mouth-related health issues.
Oral breathing dries saliva, which creates an environment allowing bacteria and plaque to build up on the teeth, potentially leading to cavities, gum disease, and chronic bad breath. Consistent 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.
If you're interested in learning more about the symptoms of allergies and sinus infections, take this Sinus Self-Assessment Quiz.