I grew up as a mouth breather. I don't recall being taught to or having trouble breathing through my nose I was just a mouth breather. This habit, unfortunately, seems to cause all kinds of facial developmental problems. It seems like it should have been a problem that our ancestors faced and something that should have been selected out long ago. Am I missing something?
asked bybalor123 (3747)
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on November 30, 2012
at 01:23 PM
Interesting thoughts, it reminds of Weston A. Price's findings with face structure differences between traditional and modernized eating folks, where the modernized folks had narrower faces and smaller mouths.
This info would also seem to support your idea it's a degeneration.
A mouth breather will not be humidifying the air, or slowing it down to allow the proper mixing of NO with it. The lungs will have difficulty providing maximum oxygenation for the body with this dry, unhumidified, unfiltered and, most importantly, NO-lacking air. This constant and chronic condition affects the cardiovascular system and the heart because the smooth muscles that line all of the arteries react to this poorly oxygenated air with a kind of tightness, a kind of permanent tension, which can be very stressful and depleting to the body. Furthermore it has been clinically shown that blocking NO production in healthy individuals results in moderate hypertension and reduced heart output as well as shortened bleeding times by activation of platelet blood-clotting factors.
Due to the lack of proper oxygenation, the ability to deliver fully oxygenated blood to the cells is also much reduced. Thus mouth breathing has a negative effect on every cell in the body as it deprives them of oxygen. Overall wellness and health requires proper oxygen as every particle of our being requires oxygen. Cancer cells, by the way, are anaerobic by design. Other manifestations of mouth breathing include snoring and cessation of breathing (also known as sleep apnea), some types of headaches, hypertension without other known clinical causes, bed wetting, chronic ear or sinus infections, TMJ pain, sleep disorders and dark patches under the eyes.
on November 30, 2012
at 01:51 PM
As far as I can tell the evolutionary advantage to having redundant breathing systems are four-fold:
Breathing through the nose allows the person to use the mouth continuously (i.e. eating) without suffocating
Breathing via the mouth has a distinct advantage in terms of volume. While running, breathing in the nose and out the mouth would allow for faster running, more efficient recovery.
Redundancy if one gets clogged (i.e. choking or a date or broken nose or allergies)
The value of having linked receptors for smell and taste require the systems to be interconnected.
My opinion are that #2 and #4 are the most likely advantages that would provide a means for evolutionary adaptation of both.