As humans, we give a lot of thought to what we eat and drink. How we exercise, bathe, and brush our teeth. What we don’t think a lot about is how our food digests, blinking our eyes or how we breathe. But when’s the last time you thought about how you breathe?

 If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never given it much thought. This is highly concerning given the fact that we can survive without oxygen for only a few minutes. How we breathe has a direct impact on nearly every aspect of our health.  

Sadly, most of us do not breathe properly: we spend our days and nights breathing through both our nose and mouth. Once we start mouth breathing, it becomes a habit that is almost impossible to stop unless you are consciously aware of it.

Sleep dysfunction is becoming an epidemic worldwide.  I wouldn’t recommend my daughter go to school, being sleep deprived and taking drugs to sleep at night due to mouth breathing. No one wants their son or daughter to take that path.

 It’s not what we want to do, we want to teach our children better but it’s through our actions that is what we’re teaching them. They watch us. This generation does not want to go to work, come home, repeat, retire and spend their retirement on illness, treatments, and medications. When we know better we can do better. 

Fortunately, there is something you can do to help curb that bad habit and encourage nose breathing instead. This unlocks the pathway to great sleep, strong oral health, and more healthful life.

Promote nose breathing

Reduce snoring

            Increase CPAP Compliance

            Improve sleep quality

Why mouth breathing is bad

During sleep, the mouth falls open, the jaw drops, and the tongue falls backward. Which creates an obstacle to the airway that disrupts nose breathing and leads to mouth breathing, open-mouth snoring, and CPAP compliance issues.

Mouth breathing renders a CPAP ineffective. For those who use a nasal mask or nasal pillows, mouth taping can improve compliance and help you wear your CPAP comfortably all night long.

The key to getting high-quality, silent sleep is simple. Close your mouth, and breathe through your nose. But sometimes you need help to keep your mouth closed, especially at night when you are sleeping. 

Strips make that easy and improve CPAP compliance, reduce open-mouth snoring, and improve your sleep quality even if you don’t snore or use a CPAP.

I was waking up every 2-3 hours in the middle of the night to pee, seeing a urologist, and spending thousands of dollars thinking something was wrong with my bladder. I saw him for years until one visit he said some people have heart disease, some people have diabetes, some have thyroid issues and you have bladder problems. Here is a pill that will dry everything up. That is all I can do for you!  I was like  WTF? Take this pill or I can’t help you.

I don’t think so! 

It was not until I took a myofunctional therapy class that I understood it was my mouth breathing that was causing me to wake up and have to pee. I was mouth breathing, snoring,  and waking up coughing from my dry mouth and throat, getting a drink, and thinking I need to pee. I have been a dental hygienist for over 30 years. How did I not know this until both my daughter and myself had issues? 

An open mouth is the leading cause of snoring

With our tongue down and our airways narrowed, we begin snoring.

For those with sleep apnea who use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), mouth breathing is the leading cause of CPAP failure and non-compliance. We give patients c-paps machines but still do not address the root cause of the problem.

 In the book Breath, James Nestor shares his experiment, he had his nostrils blocked for 10 days and experienced a 4,500% increase in his snoring by the end of the experiment. He shows how important it really is to breathe through your nose. 

Mouth breathing can be dangerous. When our mouth is open our tongue is down, and it blocks the airway. This makes breathing difficult and inhaling sufficient air, almost impossible

 Because we are unable to breathe efficiently, we do not get the proper Nitric oxide CO2 exchange, we begin to hyperventilate and exhale too much CO2. This leads to a state of fight or flight and lowered oxygenation and nitric oxide production in our blood,  we get 18% less oxygen to our brain increasing the risk of cardiovascular and cognitive illnesses. Which explains why heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U. S. and cavities are the # 1 preventable disease in our children.

Mouth breathing also wreaks havoc on our oral microbiome. An open mouth results in the rapid evaporation of moisture, leading to a saliva deficit.  Which creates a dry mouth leaving the body susceptible to cavities, coated tongue, bad breath, sore throats, and increased risk of sinus infections, among other things.

Nasal Breathing

Your first line of defense

Health starts with your nose and your mouth.

Nose breathing filters warm, and humidifies inhaled air, acting as the body’s first line of defense against allergens and pathogens. The mucus and cilia inside the nose are designed to block these pathogens from entering the respiratory airway and causing illness. This primes the air for respiration.

Plus, when the mouth is closed the oral environment is strengthened, protecting the teeth, gums, and the microbiome.

For better health, we need optimized airflow

Nose breathing, beyond protecting you, ensures efficient breathing and sufficient airflow by regulating your breathing rhythm during sleep and by increasing tidal air volume.

As a result, this balances CO2-O2 exchange and boosts Nitric Oxide production – a vasodilator that relaxes the blood vessels to lower blood pressure. These two actions when performed together can improve cardiovascular and cognitive health

 Sleep and Silence in the bedroom

The number one cause of snoring? You guessed it, mouth breathing. Switching to nose breathing at night has been shown to reduce snoring by 72% on average.

Plus, for CPAP users, nose breathing at night not only diminishes snoring, but it also dramatically boosts CPAP compliance. This explains the rate of compliance for nose breathers is 71%, while the rate of compliance for mouth breathers is 30%.

Mouth Taping 

Has become very popular, I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing when I first heard it. A Lot of people wonder why anyone would do it, or if it’s even safe. 

Mouth taping originates with the Buteyko Method, created by Russian doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, which studies the connection between the way we breathe and overall health. The practice largely focuses on “functional breathing,” or breathing in and out of the nose. It improves a number of health issues, including anxiety, ADHD, insomnia, asthma, and more.

There was a book written in 1870 by George Catlin, Shut your Mouth and Save Your Life is unchanged, the original edition has been reprinted in many versions. We knew way back then mouth breathing was an issue. Over millions of years of human evolution, our mouths were designed for talking and eating while our noses were designed to do the majority of our breathing. Taking things back to our ancestry, similar to the concept behind the paleo diet comes with a surprising amount of benefits. And I discovered them firsthand a week after I myself started taping to breathe through my nose as I slept. 

It’s a great way to help address oral myofunctional issues and related conditions including sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea, dry mouth, and more. 

Changing your habits change your life! It is crucial! If you don’t change these habits, the symptoms only get worse and worse as you age. Even though you can’t technically “reverse” the symptoms you can stop them from getting worse, and allow your muscles to change in a positive direction. If you are going to have jaw surgery or braces without fixing your habits, the results will not be sustainable long term or will relapse. I definitely recommend you do therapy before you have surgery!! 🙂

Tips for Optimal Mouth Taping

Do not try this if you can’t breathe through your nose for two minutes without opening your mouth.

Here are a few helpful taping tips for those interested in trying this method:

I put my lips together so I am not taping directly on my lips. I tape on the skin around them.  You can Apply a thin layer of chapstick or Vaseline to your lips before you adhere to the tape. This helps reduce the stickiness in the morning. If you feel nervous about completely covering your mouth, you can begin by taping from the top lip — sort of like a Charlie Chaplin mustache — and leave a little space for emergency breathing until you become more comfortable with it.

Pick the right tape. I tried several before I found the one I like. You can use plain surgical tape if you’re the no-frills type. But there are brands like Somnifix, my tape that specialize in this kind of sleep process. Each Somnifix strip has a vent so that even if your nose gets completely stuffed up during the night, you can still breathe. And unlike surgical tape, they don’t leave any sticky residue on the lips. 

Fit your tape to suit your needs. If you’re using surgical tape, tear off a bit more than you’ll need and fold the ends on each end under to create mini handles. This makes it easy to pull the tape back momentarily during the night if you need to take a sip of water, cough, or talk.

Help Your Body Adjust. You can also try taping your mouth for periods of time during the day so you get used to it.

Although it works amazing, me. There have not been any scientific studies to confirm that mouth taping is an effective technique for improving sleep. While the wider medical world has largely ignored the importance of nasal breathing and its relationship to overall wellness, it is changing now, based on the many success stories we are seeing.

“People are frustrated with the answers they are getting from conventional medicine and have taken to the internet for answers, I was not happy being told It was my new norm? More and more people have tried this relatively simple practice and it has changed their lives.

The jury is still out but the question remains: Will you try it?

Frequent Mouth taping questions

  1. Do people often struggle with this and will I eventually get used to it and be able to keep it on all night?

It is not for everyone. Each night I go to bed comfortably with the tape on, but I was ripping it off in the middle of the night. I started wearing it during the day to get used to it and have had zero issues. I did have to get used to it. It seemed very strange now that I can’t sleep without it. 

If it keeps happening, try spraying your nose with saline or Xlear before you go to bed. That will help decrease the airflow resistance through the nose and make it easier to keep the tape on.

  1. Are you still moisturizing your face before bed before putting your tape on?

I still do my nightly skincare routine I just don’t put any around where I am going to use the tape. Unless it is a really sticky tape. 

I use micropore tape or myo tape and I use chapstick and moisturizer on my lips and face before taping and it still gives a good hold. I actually prefer to moisturize before, it seems easier to remove the tape the next morning.

I put my lips together and tape them on the skin around them. My lips feel moisturized and have had no issues with the tape staying in place.

Stop mouth breathing tonight. I started mouth taping. It changed my life. I use mouth tape now and I have experienced the best sleep ever. again it is not for everyone.

People are hearing and reading about this new phenomenon to help them sleep and breathe better and trying it at home. This course is an overview of what you need to know before you tape your mouth shut.

Better sleep and breathing starts with closing your mouth and breathing through your nose whenever possible. 

Disclaimer – This information is not medical advice. Please discuss this information with your doctor or health professional before undertaking anything suggested here in this blog..