Is Mouth Breathing Making You Less Attractive? An Analysis of Andrew Huberman's Theory
In a fascinating conversation with Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist from Stanford University, we delve into a subject that often escapes our attention: our breathing patterns. More specifically, we explore the question: "Is mouth breathing making us unattractive?"
The Downside of Mouth Breathing
Dr. Huberman discusses a book called 'Jaws: A Hidden Epidemic', written by his Stanford colleagues, Sandra Kahn and Paul Erick, which introduces intriguing concepts relating to breathing and chewing habits. One core concept that stands out is the implication of overusing mouth breathing, particularly among children. It argues that extensive mouth breathing leads to structural changes in the face, making individuals less attractive than their nasal-breathing counterparts.
Mouth breathing vs Nasal breathing - It is a debate worth considering from an aesthetic standpoint, but it also has health implications.
Breathing, Eating Hard Foods, and Cranial Facial Development
Dr. Huberman emphasizes the influence of certain behaviors, including nasal breathing, on craniofacial development. This involves structures like the skull and face, and their coordinated growth and development.
In this context, he highlights the need for regular chewing of hard foods. Why is it significantly important? It turns out, chewing these types of foods is essential to oral, tooth, face development, and overall health. Surprisingly, it even has correlations with metabolic and cardiovascular health!
On the contrary, those reliant on softer, easy-to-chew foods, or 'slurping' their meals, might be at risk of impaired cranial facial development and detrimental changes to tooth health.
What Does Orthodontia Tell Us?
The book also suggests that the entire field of orthodontics, including procedures involving braces or headgear, is a byproduct of poor breathing habits and overconsumption of softer foods instead of harder ones.
For remedies, the book touts the Mew method, an approach advocating for proper tongue posture and nasal breathing, supported by a striking collection of before-and-after photos showcasing the positive outcomes.
The Underlying Mechanism
Mouth Breathing Effect on Oxygen Intake and Sinuses
But why does mouth breathing affect facial structure? When we breathe through our mouths instead of our noses, we draw in less oxygen. This induces a state of apnea, limiting the oxygen supply to our brains. Furthermore, mouth breathing sidesteps the nasal sinuses, which function as channels for fluid and air movement, crucial for our overall health.
Nasal Breathing and Viral Protection
An often overlooked fact is that nasal breathing benefits us greatly in terms of fighting off viruses, bacteria, and even some fungal infections. This is because of the nasal microbiome's unique role in "capturing and destroying" these harmful entities when we breathe. Hence, regular nasal breathing can significantly decrease our chances of susceptibility to infections, especially during the winter season.
Shaping Our Future
Importantly, it’s never too late to modify our breathing and eating habits - the positive changes can happen at any point in life. The solution does not involve buying any special products. It’s as simple as getting into the habit of nasal breathing, consciously chewing food well, and not shying away from harder foods.
As adults, there is a greater onus on us to move away from traditionally childlike snack foods and "eat like an adult", choosing foods that support our health and well-being.
Andrew Huberman's perspectives open a path to rethink our day-to-day habits - the ones we often take for granted, like breathing and eating. The act of nasal breathing and chewing hard foods is more than just a mechanistic process - they form a part of our growth, aesthetics, and overall health. Taking control of these aspects can help us lead healthier lives, and as a surprising bonus, boost our attractiveness as well!
So, the next time you instinctively open your mouth for a breath, remember this intriguing conversation, and try to make a switch - for your health and aesthetics alike!