The elephant in the room! Mouth taping is not for everyone and is not needed if you can breathe through your nose 24/7
It has become very popular, but a lot of people wonder why anyone would do it, or if it’s even safe.
In this blog, I’ll explain more about taping your mouth, how to do it, why I use mouth taping myself, and why I use it for patients in my myofunctional therapy practice.
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.
Unless you are exercising or have nasal congestion you should always breathe through your nose. Chronic mouth breathing can lead to harmful outcomes that compromise the quality of life. Changes in facial features, body posture, oral and systemic health and breathing disorders.
Changing your habits now is crucial! If you don’t change these habits, the symptoms only get worse and worse as you age. So even though you can’t technically “reverse” the symptoms you can stop them from getting worse, and allow your jaw bone to remodel and your muscles to change in a positive direction, rather than getting worse. If you have jaw surgery or braces without fixing your habits, the results will not be long term or stable. Myofunctional therapy will definitely help!! 🙂
If you can train yourself to breathe better you may not need tape. The diaphragm is a muscle at the base of the lung, when you breathe with your diaphragm you get more air and oxygen into your lungs, slows down your heartbeat and helps calm you down.
You can train yourself to breathe property with practice.
If your nose is stuffy, first unblock your nose with this exercise:
Take a deep breath in Pinch your nose keeping your lips closed, shake your head side to side and front and back when you feel that hunger for air keeping your lips closed take a breath in through your nose.
Now if you can breath through your nose
Sit comfortable in a chair with your back straight, feet flat on the floor. Put one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
Relax your whole body and inhale deeply and slowly breathe through your nose. Three to five seconds feeling your belly rise keeping your chest still.
Exhale slowly through your nose. The hand on your belly should rise up and down with each breath. Pause and repeat 12-15 times.
You should not try mouth taping if you can not breath through your nose for three minutes without mouth breathing. If you can not breathe through your nose for three minutes you will need to look into why. See your Dr. or ENT
What is mouth taping, and why would someone want to do it?
Mouth taping isn’t rocket science. By taping the mouth closed at night with a special, skin-safe tape, mouth-breathers are forced to breathe through their noses. We’re naturally designed to breathe in through our noses. Nasal breathing produces something called nitric oxide.
““Nitric oxide vasodilates your blood vessels. If you dilate your blood vessels, it’s going to help reduce hypertension, which is a risk factor for stroke and heart disease. It will also improve circulation.
There are several notable benefits of nose breathing
- It prevents your sinuses from drying out
- It helps filter out allergens
- It reduces anxiety
- It lowers your blood pressure
- It gives you better breath and oral health
If you’re cringing at the thought of not being able to move your mouth, you’re not alone. Mouth taping doesn’t mean completely taping your mouth closed. The tape is porous and you can still breathe around it if you need to. The point is that it keeps your mouth closed instead of wide open and drooling on your pillow. But you’re not in danger of not being unable to open your mouth.
You can always take it off.
You may be a “mouth breather” if you experience any of the following:
- Sleeping with your mouth open
- Itchy nose
- Drooling while sleeping, or noticing drool on your pillow upon waking
- Nocturnal sleep problems or agitated sleep
- Nasal obstruction
- Irritability during the day
Mouth breathing causes the tongue to rest at the bottom of the mouth in order to create more space for air to flow through, and as a result can lead to abnormal tongue activity. Other muscles in your face, head and neck compensate for the movements your tongue is not doing. This abnormal tongue activity can lead to periodontal disease, atypical myofascial pain, and increased tooth mobility.
Additionally, those who habitually breathe through their mouth may struggle to maintain good posture. This is because mouth breathers overcompensate for the restriction of their airways by carrying their heads forward while breathing.
This forward head posture often leads to muscle fatigue, neck pain, tension in the temporomandibular joint area, spinal disc compression, early arthritis, tension headaches, and dental occlusal problems.
What is mouth taping?
Mouth taping is a home remedy that’s supposed to help treat mouth breathing when you are awake or asleep. Mouth breathing itself is associated with numerous health conditions, including snoring, allergies, and dental disease.
While some people online swear by taping their mouths as a solution to mouth breathing, the science behind this technique is lacking.
Not everyone is onboard with this as an option. It worked for me. You can see for yourself.
If you’re wondering whether mouth taping is a fad, here’s what you need to know about the potential benefits and risks behind it.
How does mouth taping work?
The process behind mouth taping works exactly as it sounds: You literally tape your mouth shut before you go to sleep.
If you’re a regular mouth breather, in theory, you should automatically breathe through your nose when you tape, you’re not able to through your mouth.. I thought it was my bladder waking me up. I learned it was my mouth breathing. Once I started taping, I was able to sleep 6 full hours without waking up to go to the bathroom
This is the exact reverse of what happens when you have nasal congestion, where you breathe through your mouth because you can’t breathe through your nose.
While you might need to breathe through your mouth occasionally during exercise or if you have nasal congestion, it’s important to breathe through your nose as much as possible. Nose breathing helps to:
- Balances out pH levels in your mouth, preventing dry mouth , dental decay, gingivitis
- Lubricates your nostrils and prevent your sinuses from drying out
- Humidifies the air you breathe, which can help chronic lung diseases like asthma
- Increases your intake of nitric oxide, which is crucial for brain function, cardiovascular health, and overall blood oxygen levels
- Decreases your chance of snoring
While sometimes marketed as a potential sleep apnea treatment, mouth taping itself may not help treat the pauses in breathing that are associated with this condition. It only helps you breathe through your nose.
Instead, you might need more traditional sleep apnea treatments, such as oxygen therapy via CPAP Continuous positive airway pressure machines.
Side effects and risks of mouth taping
While the benefits of breathing through your nose have been well established, there are also potential side effects associated with mouth taping.
- skin irritation on your lips and around the mouth
- sticky residue left over the next day
- insomnia and sleep disruptions
It’s also important to remember that any benefits seen from mouth taping have not been fully studied. To date, there haven’t been any clinical studies done to prove this technique treats any underlying health condition.
Talk to a doctor if you have any concerns about mouth taping.
The causes of mouth breathing can vary, and sometimes it’s just due to habit. But with more severe mouth breathing, the main reasons are nasal blockages, deviated septum and sleep apnea.
Breathing through your mouth is not bad. However, it’s not the healthiest or most effective way to breathe. It also can have some pretty serious, long-term side effects. Because mouth breathing can cause low oxygen concentration in the blood, it contributes to health issues like high blood pressure and heart problems. Oxygen saturation is measured by a pulse oximetry device.
Breathing through your mouth can also cause wear, fractures, cavities and impacted teeth. Mouth breathers also have higher levels of bad breath and gingivitis. Chances are, you’re not choosing to breathe through your mouth, but it can take some retraining to switch your brain back to a nose breathing habit — hence the popularity of mouth taping.
You also shouldn’t use this method if you have severe nasal congestion from allergies or illnesses.
Does mouth taping work?
The answer to this question is different for everyone. For me the answer is a big fat Yesss!!! It changed my life. I sleep so much better and get up to 6 hours of sleep now without getting up to pee in the middle of the night. The only way to know if it will work for you. Give it a try. It costs under $20-30, depending on which tape you try.
Types of tape:
I use Myo tape:
I like it because it is stretchy. I can tell the dog to lay down if need be without taking it off or losing the sticky and needing to get another piece. The links below are my affiliate links.
If anyone is interested in getting a discount at Hostage Tape, please feel free to use my code SHEREE10194 for 10% off of any purchase!
I have also used Somnifix and 3M as well on amazon
I tried several before I found the one I like the best and use every night.
Mouth Taping Questions
Q # 1. Each night I go to bed comfortably with the tape on, but I’m apparently ripping it off in the middle of the night every night. Do people often struggle with this and will I eventually get used to it and be able to keep it on all night?
A #1 I started with day time wearing to get used to it and it took me two week to get used to it at night. Now I have had zero issues. I have also tried a couple different types with the same result with all. For me it takes some getting used to but it does get better if yo99u stick with it. LOL No pun intended.
Q # 2. For the ladies (kind of a silly question but I’m curious) – are you still moisturizing your face before bed before putting your tape on? Do you just not put any around your mouth I’m guessing?
Thanks in advance for any tips!
A #2 In regard to moisturizing: I will moisturize and then wipe the area around my lips where I will be placing the tape. Lips and face feel clean and moisturized and have had no issues with the tape staying in place. I actually prefer to moisturize before, it seems easier to remove the tape next morning.
Q # 3 Does your nose get dry at night when taping?
A # 3
Before taping my mouth and nose were both dry. When I started taping I also started spraying your nose with saline or Xlear before you go to bed. It moisturizes my nose, it will also help decrease the airflow resistance through the nose and make it easier to keep the tape on.
Mouth taping probably won’t solve most people’s sleeping issues on its own, especially if your problem is falling asleep in the first place. And it’s not a quick fix either. It was not like I used it one day and got immediate benefits. It took a week mostly because I wawa skeptical and only used a small piece at first. Once I figured out what worked for me. It was amazing how much better I slept and how I did not wake up with a stuffy nose, headache or to pee any more.
Most people say that they use it four to six weeks before you can start training your body to breathe through the nose without the tape,” I still need it every night to keep my lips together.
Like every other new trend out there, it works for some people and not for others.
Other things you can do to help get a good night sleep
Change your sleeping position
If mouth taping is not for you…you can switch your sleeping position to reduce snoring and mouth breathing. Sleeping on your side is the best option to reduce snoring and mouth breathing. Don’t worry; it’s actually pretty easy to train yourself to sleep on your side. Just use a few well-placed pillows to keep you from rolling over. You can use specialized pillows like lumbar or multiposition pillows, but that’s not essential. If I do not use a pillow I do notice I end up on my back.
Be strategic with your allergy medicine
If you are someone who suffers from allergies, or your nose is congested and you have become a mouth breather. Thankfully, allergy medicine exists and depending on when you take it, it can help relieve your symptoms. Common allergy symptoms like runny nose or sneezing often in the morning. So it’s a good idea to take your 24-hour allergy medication at night, so it’s circulating in your bloodstream and bringing you relief when you wake up.
Short-acting allergy medication is the most effective shortly after you take it. If you generally have trouble sleeping at night because of your allergy symptoms, try taking your short-acting allergy medication before you go to sleep. I take a children’s chewable benadryl. All I need is one and I am good for the night.
Create a nighttime routine and stick to it
No amount of tape on your mouth will help you fall asleep if you don’t have good sleep hygiene. Your nighttime routine is crucial to ensuring you’re relaxed and your body is ready to fall asleep. We all have different beliefs so the routine will vary for everyone. Some people like to read to relax; or meditate, others like to take a bubble bath.
But there are a few general rules of thumb for a healthier nighttime routine. First, don’t eat right before bed. Your body is still digesting, so it is in rest and digest mode, put away your phone and turn your TV off about a half-hour before you go to sleep. (We know scrolling through social media is fun, but it is a stimulant for most people) Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day — yes, that includes weekends. Take a look at your bedroom. Is it calming and ready for sleep? Check the temperature and maybe add some black-out curtains.
It is crucial to assess for mouth breathing and sleep issues in children and adult patients to prevent these health issues from occurring. If you notice mouth breathing or disrupted sleep signs or symptoms talk to your healthcare provider.
If we could help you in any way, reach out. We would love to schedule a consultation with you to further discuss your questions, concerns, symptoms and develop a plan that works best for you.
Disclaimer – The information in this video and on this YouTube channel is not medical advice. Please discuss this information with your doctor or health professional before undertaking anything suggested in this blog.