San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Breathing is something we all do without giving it a second thought. But what we don’t realize is that how we breathe could affect our appearance in more ways than one. Premature aging has been linked to poor health, as well as certain lifestyle factors like excessive drinking, smoking, lack of exercise, and a bad diet. But did you know that how you breathe could cause premature aging? Find out on our newest blog today the importance of breathing correctly so that you can remain youthful-looking and healthy!
The wrong way to breathe
You probably haven’t ever paid a bit of attention to your breathing habits. After all, it just happens without even thinking about it. But take a moment and direct your attention to how you’re breathing right now.
- Is your mouth open or closed?
- What position is your tongue – on the roof of your mouth or lying low in your mouth?
- Are you breathing through your mouth or your nose?
You may wonder why the position of your mouth and tongue matter when it comes to breathing, but it matters more than you know! If you breathe through your mouth, your lips are likely open wide, teeth separate, and your tongue is low in your mouth. Long-term effects of mouth breathing may lead to a weak or recessed chin, elongated face, protruding upper teeth or jaw, snoring, or sleep apnea. Mouth breathers are also known to have dark circles under their eyes. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t a symptom of allergies. It means the body is starving for air! If this describes you or someone that you love, keep reading. Chronic mouth breathing also increases the risk of cavities and gum disease as it drives out the mouth. Nasal breathing, however, increases
What’s the right way to breathe?
Correct breathing is through the nose, with the lips and teeth closed and the tongue resting gently along the roof of your mouth. Breaths are deep and full, and nasal breathing provides more blood oxygenation, which is necessary for healthy organs.
Nasal breathing also increases the body’s intake of nitric oxide, which provides many benefits for your body’s brain, digestion, and immune system, including:
- Improved memory and learning ability
- Blood pressure regulation
- Helps decrease and combat inflammation
- Improves sleep
- Improves strength and endurance
- Helps with weight loss efforts
- Improves immune system and responses
- Decreases risk of heart disease
- Helps manage anxiety and depression
- Impedes development of fine lines and wrinkles
If you’ve just discovered that you are not breathing through your nose, try to do that now. How did it feel? It might have felt odd or unnatural to hold your tongue against your palate while attempting to keep your lips together. If so, then you may benefit from myofunctional therapy, physical therapy for the mouth, neck, and tongue. The purpose of myofunctional therapy is to retrain and strengthen weak orofacial muscles so that you can properly breathe, chew, and swallow. The exercises can be done anywhere and are simple to follow. It just requires your total commitment!
Myofunctional Therapy in the Bay Area
If you would like to learn more about ways to stop mouth breathing so that you can slow the aging process and maintain better health, contact Glen Park Dental by calling (415) 585-1500. Even if wrinkles aren’t a concern for you, your health probably is, which is why myofunctional therapy may be the option for you. Learn how to breathe better, and improve your oral health and your overall health.