Posted on Monday, May 15th, 2023 at 9:00 am
Mouth taping is a recent trend on the popular social media platform TikTok. It involves taping your mouth shut at night to prevent snoring and get a better night’s sleep.
According to one TikTok user with a large following, mouth breathing contributes to gum disease, brain fog, bad breath, and a weakened immune system. Taping the mouth closed can prevent those issues.
Another TikTok user posted a video with over one million views, claiming how mouth taping prevents conditions such as sinus infections and helps them stay asleep at night.
However, experts warn that these claims are controversial and potentially dangerous. There are better ways of improving breathing without taping your mouth shut.
Should You Breathe Through Your Nose or Mouth While Sleeping?
The preferred method of nighttime breathing is through the nose. The tiny hairs in the nostrils filter out germs and environmental debris. Breathing through the nose can keep out allergens and dust. Another benefit is helping to humidify the air you breathe, preventing dry air from entering and irritating the lungs.
Breathing through the nose can control anxiety and aid in relaxation. It might also lower your blood pressure since nasal breathing increases nitride oxide, the compound responsible for regulating blood pressure.
Medical Conditions Associated with Mouth Breathing
The nose and its structures play vital roles in the physiology of breathing while someone sleeps, including stimulating ventilation and regulating nasal airway resistance. Congestion can lead to restless sleep, snoring, and excessive sleepiness during the day.
Experts explain that open-mouth breathing can negatively affect oral health. Chronic oral breathing is related to gum irritation, morning dry mouth, snoring, dental cavities, and bad breath.
Breathing with the mouth open changes the position of the upper airway, making a person more susceptible to airway obstruction, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea.
The Dangers of Mouth Taping
Although breathing through the nose instead of the mouth is beneficial, taping the mouth shut is risky. You should consult a doctor before trying anything you see on social media.
Taping your mouth closed before going to sleep is dangerous for many reasons, including:
- Disrupted sleep
- Irritation or allergic reactions to the tape
- Obstructed or blocked breathing
- Increased risk of breathing problems
Mouth taping can be particularly problematic if you have a breathing problem, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, or deviated septum.
Better Alternatives to Mouth Taping
Mouth taping isn’t the only option for sleeping better at night. You can try various behavioral and lifestyle changes, such as:
- Prioritize achieving deep sleep and REM sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day
- Treat allergies like rhinitis
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
- Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night
You can breathe through your nose while sleeping without resorting to dangerous practices like mouth taping. Consider these alternatives instead:
- Sleep on your side instead of your back
- Use nasal strips and dilators
- Perform tongue, mouth, and throat exercises
Get the Treatment You Need for a Better Night’s Sleep
Mouth taping might seem like the solution you’ve been looking for, but i can do more harm than good. You should consult Silent Night Therapy to determine whether your snoring and other symptoms are due to sleep apnea or another sleep-related breathing disorder.
Call us at 631-983-2463 for a complimentary sleep consultation today.