Mouth Taping: Does It Help Improve Sleep?

Mouth Taping: Does It Help Improve Sleep?

Interested in becoming a mouth taper? Perhaps you saw an Instagram ad for mouth taping and how it can benefit your sleep. It is a highly popular solution to encourage nose breathing during sleep, which may help address everything from snoring issues to bad breath

Although mouth taping is increasing in popularity, it hasn’t been studied extensively, especially on a large scale. A handful of small scientific studies were conducted, so most of the existing benefits are primarily anecdotal. In this article, we aim to discuss how mouth taping works, how to tape the mouth safely, and if there are any risks involved. Continue reading to learn more. 

What Is Mouth Taping?

Mouth taping is the practice of taping your mouth shut at night before you go to bed. If you want to breathe through your nose while you sleep, taping your mouth shut forces that to happen. That ultimately helps you avoid the negative effects of mouth breathing, such as snoring or even sleep apnea. The tape is usually porous and you stick it over the upper and lower lips. That makes opening your mouth very difficult, encouraging you to breathe through your nose during sleep.

Does Mouth Taping Help With Snoring?

There is a large argument that sleeping with mouth tape may benefit people who snore. One study involved people with mild obstructive sleep apnea, and they wore a porous patch over their mouths while sleeping. That caused all of the participants to breathe through their nose, and it changed the angle and palate of the tongue. These changes contributed to less snoring, and fewer instances of lapsed breathing. According to researchers, there are no definitive findings that indicate mouth tape’s positive impact on snoring in people who do not have obstructive sleep apnea. More research is necessary on this topic to see if mouth tape can help with other snoring issues. 

Benefits Of Mouth Tape

According to anecdotal claims, mouth tape has helped ease a variety of problems, including snoring, fatigue, concentration issues, and bad breath. Existing research has only found mouth tape to reduce snoring and tiredness in people with obstructive sleep apnea. What research does show is that nose breathing helps to filter out allergens and adds resistance to benefit lung volume. It also helps deliver warmer, more humid air to the lungs. Although studies on mouth taping for people with asthma have not shown any benefits, the research and anecdotal reports that do exists claim that mouth taping aids the following:

  • Dry mouth
  • Gum disease
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Cavities
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms
  • Slowed growth in children
  • Bad breath
  • Decreased cognitive ability

Side Effects Of Mouth Tape

There are some existing side effects of taping the mouth for sleep, but most of them have not been fully studied. The following list of side effects are merely anecdotal:

  • Pain when ripping off the tape, especially if you have facial hair
  • Anxiety in people who feel uncomfortable with tape over their mouths
  • Irritation on or around the lips
  • Discomfort or difficulty breathing
  • Interrupted sleep due to irritation from the tape

How To Tape Your Mouth Safely

First of all, make sure to use a porous tape intended for human skin if you decide to use mouth tape. Masking tape or other tapes that are not intended for the body will likely cause irritation. Some companies sell strips that help keep the mouth shut while you’re asleep. There are currently no guidelines on how to tape the mouth safely, but it isn’t like building a combustion engine from scratch. 

Before you tape your mouth, make sure to test the mouth tape during the day. This is especially important if you have difficulty breathing through your nose due to nasal polyps, allergies, or another reason. Minimize irritation on the skin by applying a food-safe gel to the area around your mouth prior to sticking on the tape. When you apply the tape, consider folding it over at one corner to promote easy removal in the morning.

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