Breathing may be a fairly intuitive process, but you may want to reconsider how you go about doing it after learning about this.
In a TikTok video that has since gone viral, user @whyieatplants shares the “insane structural differences” between the face shape of a nose breather and that of a mouth breather.
What happens when you breathe through your mouth
As air enters our lungs, it changes the structure of our jaws. Those who mainly breathe through their mouths tend to observe a softened jawline, slightly crooked nose, and sunken eyes.
“Nose breathing brings your jawline up to its proper position, while mouth breathing causes it to sink in,” Alexis explains.
Elaborating on the phenomenon, a famous doctor known as Dr Karan Raj shares in his TikTok video that “breathing through your mouth causes a wild series of butterfly effects.”
“More mouth breathing means the muscles of the cheek have to work harder, and these cheek muscles put more pressure on the upper and lower jaws,” he adds.
This commonly causes mid-face developmental issues within children, and chronic mouth breathers may end up with longer faces and less prominent jaws over time.
Other side effects of breathing through your mouth
We hate to break it to you, but there are other reasons apart from wanting to achieve that celebrity jawline that should convert you into being a nose breather instead. Mouth breathing may cause its own set of health problems, like the following:
- Unpleasant breath
- Sleep disorders (insomnia)
- Oral health issues, such as gingivitis and tooth decay
- Ear and throat infections
- Low oxygen blood concentration, which is related to high blood pressure and heart failure
What to do instead
If you’re looking to ditch the mouth-breathing habit for good, you should start by consciously practising it throughout the day.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Relax your tongue and jaw: Keep your tongue and jaw in a relaxed position as you inhale through your nose. This ensures a smooth flow of air into your lungs.
- Practice mewing: Gently place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. This simple act can help widen your nasal passages, allowing a freer airflow.
- Breathe from your diaphragm instead of your chest: Focusing on this deep-breathing technique can help enhance the efficiency of your breath and keep you from feeling breathless.
It’s hard to kick the habit of breathing through your mouth when you’re asleep, so to help make the transition easier, Alexis recommends using a mouth tape at night.
Traditionally designed to help snorers, these skin-friendly mouth tapes force you to breathe through your nose when you’re asleep, which may engender a more defined face structure with long-term use.
Mouth Seal Mouth Tapes retail for S$2.59 on Shopee.
Featured image credit: @whyieatplants/TikTok and Mewing.app