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Nasal and Mouth Breathing - Foley, AL*

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Nasal vs Mouth Breathing

The lungs are the primary source of your energy level because your lungs remove oxygen from the air you breathe – which your body then uses the oxygen to produce energy for every cell in your body. You can go weeks without eating – you can go days without water – BUT you can not go without breathing 12-14 times per minute every minute, every hour, every 24 hours, etc.

Since oxygen is your main source of life, and exhalation is the main way to expel toxins from your body, poor breathing can contribute to a multitude of health problems.

The air you breathe is first processed through your nose. The nose is a miraculous filter lined with tiny hairs called cilia. The cilia have many functions: they filter, humidify and warm or cool the air (depending on the temperature) before it enters your lungs. It is estimated that cilia protect our bodies against about 20 billion particles of foreign matter everyday!

Breathing through our nose is the way our bodies were designed. In fact, it has been said that breathing through your mouth is about as practical as trying to eat through your nose!

Sleep and Breathing Disorder Questionnaire


Healthy nasal breathing is vital to allow the body to utilize the gasses nitric oxide and carbon dioxide, both of which play a role in opening the blood vessels. Christian Bohr demonstrated the importance of carbon dioxide in blood oxygenation back in 1904, but it was not until the 1980s that the incredible benefits of nitric oxide (NO) were fully understood. Until then, nitric oxide was considered a toxic gas, responsible for the environmental pollution and smog found in overpopulated cities. In 1995, it was discovered that nitric oxide production takes place in the paranasal sinuses, a group of four air-filled spaces surrounding the nasal cavity. As we breathe in through the nose, large amounts of NO are released within the nasal airways. 1 Nitric oxide then follows airflow to the lungs where it serves a number of very important roles including opening of the airways and increasing oxygen uptake in the blood. 2

Ventilation perfusion describes the ratio of the amount of air to the amount of blood reaching the small air sacs in the lungs per minute. In a perfect situation, the oxygen provided from breathing would be just enough to saturate the blood fully with oxygen.

Two factors which negatively influence ventilation perfusion are breathing through the mouth and gravity. This can lead to a situation where the higher parts of the lungs receive more ventilation, and the lower parts greater amounts of blood. Nitric oxide produced in the nasal cavity helps with a more efficient matching of blood flow to ventilation. With each breath drawn through the nose, nitric oxide is carried into the lungs where it helps to counteract the effects of gravity on blood flow in the lungs by redistributing the blood more equally through the lungs. 3

1. According to Jon Lundberg, professor of Nitric Oxide Pharmacologics at the world famous Karolinska Institute in Sweden, large amounts of NO are constantly released in the nasal airways of humans. As we breathe in through the nose, NO will follow the airflow to the lungs where it plays a role in increasing the amount of oxygen uptake in the blood. Lundberg J, Weitzberg. B. Nasal nitric oxide in man Thorax 1999; 54:947-952.

2. Lundberg J. Nitric oxide and the paranasal sinuses. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2008 Nov; 291(11): 1479-84.

3. Sanchez Crespo A, Hallberg J, O. Lundberg J, Lindahl S, Jacobsson H, Weitzberg E, Nyren S. Nasal nitric oxide and regulation of human pulmonary blood flow in the upright position. J Appl Pysiol 108: 181-188, 2010.


  • Non efficient extraction of oxygen from the air you breathe – decreased energy and vitality.
  • Unclean, contaminated, dry air enters your lungs.
  • Increased snoring.
  • Bypassing the nasal sensors, makes regular breathing difficult.
  • Leads to irregular sleep cycles/sleep apnea.
  • Increases thirst and appetite.
  • Decreases memory and concentration.
  • Causes irregular heartbeats.
  • Believed to cause ADHD and decrease learning ability in children.
  • Increases daytime sleepiness.
  • Creates poor posture.
  • Exasperates asthma.
  • Causes stuffy noses.


  • The lungs actually extract oxygen from the air during exhalation, in addition to inhalation.  Because your nostrils are smaller than your mouth, air exhaled through your nose creates a back flow of air (and oxygen) into your lungs.  Because you exhale more slowly through your nose then you do through the mouth, your lungs have more time to extract oxygen from the air you’ve already taken in resulting in increased energy and vitality.
  • Air breathed through your nose and sinuses creates Nitric Oxide (NO) which disinfects the air going into your lungs.
  • Decreases snoring.
  • Moistens and disinfects air going into your lungs.
  • Decreases daytime sleepiness.
  • Air-conditions the lungs.
  • Air passes over nasal sensors that stimulate the reflex nerves that control regular breathing.
  • Increases memory and concentration.
  • Maintains balanced blood pH.
  • Reduces hypertension and stress.
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Gulf Coast Sleep Specialist, located in the Emerald Coast area, will educate you with methods and materials to help you develop healthier better breathing habits. Transforming from mouth breathing to nasal breathing is the best start to leading a much healthier and much happier life. For more information, you can visit the website below to regarding our product recommendation.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.