Blog post by Tim Ives, Dental hygienist and co founder LipZip.net
Nose breathing is our first line of defence against inhalation of micro-organisms. Given the current COVID-19 global focus on face masks in order to prevent the spread of infection, I believe what is more important is the way we breathe when we are wearing and not wearing a mask. Nose breathing is our first line of defense against inhalation of micro-organisms as the majority will get trapped in mucous whereas anything directly inhaled into the lungs has the potential to stay there for up to 120 days. Mouth breathers also typically inhale 10 to 15 liters of air per minute compared to 4 to 6 litres for a nose breather (1). This huge difference in volume will definitely increase risk of COVID-19 infection for mouth breathers. It is also very easy to switch from nose to mouth breathing when wearing a mask, especially when in conversation. Keep those sentences short and ensure that you are breathing in and out through your nose when speaking.
Nitric oxide in the paranasal sinuses is taken into the lungs when nose breathing. (2) Mouth breathing bypasses this important molecule which is toxic to the Corona Virus. (3) Nose breathing is a key defense against infection.
Just to complicate matters the latest research from the University of North Carolina informs us that the receptor cells that COVID-19 requires to attach itself to the host are most abundant in the cells inside the nose and less abundant in the lungs. (4)
Obviously, mouth breathing and inhaling large volumes of air directly into the lungs to avoid COVID-19 attachment onto nasal cells is not a good way to mitigate infection. So, what is the best way to prevent COVID-19 attaching itself to the cells inside our nose?
Xlear, a USA based xylitol company, has been undertaking research at the Universities of Geneva and Utah State University to see if the containing xylitol, saline and grapefruit seed extract destroy the virus sprays are toxic to COVID-19. I have viewed the university reports (not published) and the sprays containing xylitol, saline and grapefruit seed extract destroy the virus and surprisingly it was the grapefruit seed extract that is the ‘active ingredient’ against COVID-19. Human trials are underway. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter as we will keep you in touch with these latest results.
In conclusion I believe we should all pay attention to the way we breathe and ensure we breathe through our nose (especially when speaking) and be cleaning our nasal cavity morning and night with Xlear Nasal Spray to prevent COVID-19 infection.
If you would like to learn more about breathing and its oral and general health effects, the computer screen icon at the top of this blog will take you to details for the consumer version of our online course.
About Tim- Tim is a dental hygienist, speaker, writer, teacher, consultant and now part of the corporate world. He is an active member of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy. In 2017, Tim qualified as a Buteyko Breathing Practitioner and has successfully coached many people who are now happily benefiting from nasal breathing. Learn more at https://lipzip.net/
1. McKeown P. The Oxygen Advantage. Harper Collins, NY, USA; 2015
2. Tornberg C; Marteus H; Schedin U; Alving K, Lundberg J; Weitzberg E. Nasal and Oral Contribution to Inhaled and Exhaled Nitric Oxide: A Study in Tracheotomized Patients. Eur Respir J, 19(5): 859–864, 2002.
3. Martel J; Ko YF; Young J; Ojcius D. Could Nasal Nitric Oxide Help to Mitigate the Severity of COVID-19. Microbes Infect, Vol 22(4) 168-171, 2020
4. Hou Y; Okuda K; et al. SARS-CoV-2 Reverse Genetics Reveals a Variable Infection Gradient in the Respiratory Tract. Cell Journal, Vol 182(2) 429-446, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.042
Learn more about oral and overall health from Growing Smiles here.