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Functions of the Nose

November 5, 2023

Did you know that nasal breathing has many health benefits including killing bacteria, increasing oxygen absorption, increasing blood circulation, and improving lung volume? In this short video, Dr. Bockow explains how the functions of the nose accomplish these things and many more.

Dr. Rebecca Bockow is a dual-trained board-certified orthodontist and periodontist – one of only a handful in the country. She lectures nationally on periodontics, orthodontics, interdisciplinary orthodontics, airway, and skeletal growth and development.

”So, let's talk a little bit about the functions of the nose because nasal breathing is so important. So, the nose filters, warms, moistures, and dehumidifies the air. It produces nitric oxide, which kills bacteria and viruses, increases oxygen absorption of the lungs by 10 to 25 percent, and breathing through the nose increases blood circulation, blood oxygen, and CO2 levels, slows the breathing rate, and improves overall lung volume.

”Nasal resistance is also needed to maintain adequate lung elasticity. So, within 24 hours of nasal obstruction, we start to see subsequent mouth breathing, which leads to hypoxemia, hypercarbia, hypoventilation, and adults who breathe through their mouths are more likely to have sleep-disordered breathing and ADHD.

”So, at what age do we intervene? So we looked at this young man, this five-year-old. We see the gummy smile. We see the crowding. By convention, we're told in Orthodontics not to intervene until age 7, but he's growing in the wrong direction. We see the crowding. We see the narrow palette. We see the enlarged adenoids. We see the low tongue posture. We have low tongue posture here as well.

”We have inflammation in the sinuses, inflammation in the turbinates... as we go through the slices here. Once again, more inflammation, enlarged tonsils.
So all... we want to reverse the cycle. We want to convert these kids from mouth breathers to nasal breathers to try to reduce the inflammation to try to get growth back on track.”

Dr. Bockow loves to create beautiful smiles for her patients, setting them up for a lifetime of dental and airway health.

Thank you for watching this video from Inspired Orthodontics. Please consider liking the video and subscribing to our YouTube channel. To get in touch with us, visit, find us on social media @InspiredOrtho, or send us a text at 425-453-0551.

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