Sleep

How to Mouth Tape for Better Sleep

If you’re breathing through your mouth while you sleep at night, it’s a big deal. In this post, I’ll cover why mouth taping is an amazing sleep hack and how to get started with mouth taping if it’s your first time.

by Dr. Burhenne

Are you a mouth breather? This habit could be detrimental to your health! | AskTheDentist.com

Every night, after my wife and I say our goodnights, I reach for a roll of tape in the drawer of my bedside table. Relaxing my lips, I place the tape over them, taping my mouth shut before I turn off the lights. Sound bizarre? That’s what I thought at first, but the health benefits and improvement in sleep quality are undeniable. I do this because I want to make sure I’m breathing out of my nose. I’ll explain why.

Eliza, one of my patients, says, “I was a different person,” before she learned to nose breathe. I noticed one day at her appointment that she was mouth breathing and sent her home with some mouth tape. She tried mouth taping that night and immediately discovered that it was impossible for her to do so. Now, years later after learning how to nose breathe, she has transformed. She has better focus, memory, and concentration. Her anxiety is greatly reduced. She also hasn’t had a cavity since.

If you’re breathing through your mouth while you sleep at night, it’s a big deal. In this post, I’ll cover why mouth taping is an amazing sleep hack and how to get started with mouth taping if it’s your first time.

Why Mouth Tape?

If you’re thinking, “But how will I breathe?” know this: nasal breathing is the normal way to breathe. The mouth is for eating and the nose is for breathing—but our modern lifestyle has modified this important distinction.

Start watching people around you—your family, your co-workers. You’ll notice that a lot of people mouth breathe by default. Mouth breathing elevates blood pressure and heart rate, worsens asthma and allergies, and deprives the heart, brain, and other organs of optimal oxygenation.

Nasal breathing is important because of nitric oxide, which your body produces in the sinuses. When you nose breathe, you get the benefits of nitric oxide, which are extraordinary. The body produces 25% of its nitric oxide from nose breathing. Breathe through your mouth and you will be short on nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide enhances memory and learning, regulates blood pressure, reduces inflammation, improves sleep quality, increases endurance and strength, and improves immune function. I want my nitric oxide! You should want it too.

When you spend more time nose breathing during sleep at night, you:

  • Wake up feeling rested
  • Reduce high blood pressure and risk of heart disease
  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Improve concentration and memory
  • Reduce attention deficit and hyperactivity
  • Relieve headaches, migraines, back pain, sciatica, and neuralgia
  • Improve weight loss and digestion
  • Strengthen your immune system and resistance to the common cold

Ever woken up with a dry mouth? This isn’t normal either. A dry mouth isn’t just uncomfortable—it’s harmful to the oral microbiome, which can have effects downstream in the rest of the body. A dry mouth promotes cavities because the teeth are not being bathed in saliva, which helps teeth resist cavities through a process called remineralization. And the ever-so-crucial pH of the mouth lowers into the acidic zone, which promotes cavities. Oh, and mouth breathing can also be the cause of bad breath.

Mouth taping not only forces me to nose breathe during sleep, it’s also a great at-home diagnostic tool. If I wake up with the tape no longer on my mouth, then I know I didn’t breathe properly that night. Many of my patients have sought out help from an ENT (an ear, nose, and throat specialist), allergist, or sleep medicine physician as a result of seeing that they couldn’t keep the tape on their mouths all night—and these specialists were able to treat the root cause of the blockage in their noses, helping them nose breathe effortlessly all day and all night long.

How to Mouth Tape for Better Sleep

It’s perhaps the easiest sleep hack out there—simply tape your mouth shut before bed. The tape forces you to nose breathe even while you’re unconscious in deep sleep.

Mouth Taping Tips:

  • Fold over the tape on both ends to make it easy to rip off
  • Go with a roll of tape instead of strips, which is easier to apply
  • If you find yourself taking off the tape before you wake up, don’t despair! This is great information. Work with your doctor or dentist to understand what’s preventing you from nose breathing. The most common culprits are a stuffy, dusty bedroom, allergies, or a deviated septum, which is easily fixed with a common surgical procedure.

It’s time to do what our bodies were designed to do, and that is to breathe through our noses. Try mouth taping. You can’t guarantee that you’re nose breathing all night long – your mouth may fall open in the middle of the night. Find out if you can breathe all night long through your nose, and, if you can, enjoy the benefits of doing so. If you can’t, then you know to see your doctor to get that nasal blockage fixed for better breathing, better sleep, and better health.

Where Do I Buy Mouth Tape?

I’ve tried a lot of different mouth tape. In my book, The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox, I recommend Snorless Strips, available on Amazon, but I’ve recently discovered two options I like much better.

The reason I’ve switched to Somnifix is they’re the only strip specifically designed for mouth taping, so I don’t run into the issue of the tape overlapping with my beard, since they fit right over the lips. I also don’t have to worry about taking off skin when I peel off the tape in the morning because the glue isn’t as sticky, and it leaves no residue behind.

My Pick
Image alt

Sleep Strips by SomniFix

These strips are made with a specially-engineered adhesive that allows you to easily apply and remove the strip without leaving any residue behind

Buy Now

The more budget-friendly one is Micropore tape, available on Amazon, which is easier to dispense than Snorless Strips, especially when the lighting is low before bedtime.

Runner Up: Budget Pick
Image alt

3M Micropore Tape

Buy Now

The advantage to using tape that’s specifically designed for mouth taping is that there is less residue on your lips when removing the tape in the morning and it’s generally more comfortable. Some people have asked if they can use duct tape or regular scotch tape, and my answer is, sure—but it won’t be comfortable and you’re likely to not continue using it!


For further reading:

Dr. Mark Burhenne

Have you tried mouth taping? Let me know what you think in the comments below! I read each and every one.

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Dr. Mark Burhenne DDS

89 Comments

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  1. Not sure how well tape would work with a beard and mustache but fortunately I normally breath through my nose, which rarely clogs up even when I have a cold. And after studying the Gokhale Method, I know how to position my head when sleeping so my mouth doesn’t fall open.

    • Harry, I reached out to the makers of Buteyko breathing strips with this exact question. I myself have a goatee and many of my patients who mouth tape have beards, so it’s a common concern! They recommended tearing a piece that’s 2″ by 6″ (the size of two strips). The typical approximate size of mouth tape is 1” by 3”. So, the tape is going on the facial hair.

      • Actually, the whole idea of having tape over my mouth is almost enough to give me a panic attack. So I won’t be doing it.

      • I finally found your site on line. I have severe dry mouth. Ordered roll of Micropore tape on Amazon and have had relief ever since. Takes a while to get used to the tape. Sleeping with it the whole night now. Taking the idea to my dentist tomorrow as he could not help me before. I put lip gloss on before the tape.

    • Harry, can you please post the exact link where the Gokhale Method helped you? It would be nice to get details and possibly, pictorial information on what to do and how to do it.

  2. Nitric oxide is produced allllll throughout the body. Nor just the nasal sinuses. I can imagine an OSA patient being harmed by this technique.

  3. Very interesting!! I’m intrigued enough to try this myself. I’m a dentist in Salt Lake City who often treats patients with OSA and a mandibular advancement device at times can force people’s mouths open at night. This may help some of those patients. Thanks!

  4. I cannot inhale enough through my nose to even fill a fraction of my lungs. Even saline spray works only a tiny bit. Wish I could try nose breathing without fainting. Anyone have ideas how to breathe better through the nose?

    • I suggest you simply use nasal strips, such a BreatheRight. I use the Extra version. It works great for me. In fact, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) alone is not enough. They both are required to open up the nasal and throat passages properly.

      But the MAD often has the problem of keeping the mouth open. If I hold my lips closed, I can breathe just fine. So I will be trying the tape idea.

      By the way, the biggest problem with MADs is the many of them have material between the teeth, particularly in the rear, and this leverages open the front of the mouth by default. Some even leave an opening in the material at the front, which is a bizarre idea. I will be finding a better design because of that flaw.

      I will also say that those individuals who cannot breathe only thru the nose during normal waking activities need to see a surgeon about the obvious problems with the nasal passages.

      • I started mouthtaping about a week ago, am having good success with my breathing and no stuffy nose in the morning . My husband tells me I still snore. I wonder how this can be as I have no trouble breathing through my nose and the tape mostly stays put. I was using a cloth tape at first and no snoring but it leaves some sticky residue. Then used 3D tape but found I could breathe through it thus snored. Last two nights I used paper tape and he said I snored about a half hour last night. I don’t know if this is true as he worries about whether taping is dangerous to my health. I have used mouth appliances which didn’t stop my snoring. We both snore and are bickering over this. Is the type of tape important and will it help stop snoring?

    • It is also difficult for me to breathe through my nose. I use nose tubes. They are really helpful!! Google “Nose tubes for snoring”. They are silicone tubes that widen your nostrils as you sleep enabling you to breathe in more air.

    • Hi,
      If you look on Youtube for Patrick Mckeown he demonstrates a simple method for clearing the nasal passages to allow nose breathing.
      L&L
      Dave

  5. Hey Dr. Burhenne,

    Thanks so much for putting this out there.

    Here’s a question for you: Have you heard back from someone trying this for the first time as an adult (mid-thirties) and immediately getting the nasty cold that’s going around the office? My wife and I both tried taping over the past weekend and I feel like a brand new person while she got sick. Any speculation as to why that may be?

  6. I’ve been mouth taping before sleep for the last 4 days and it is quickly changing my life. I was a bit nervous at first panicking I’d suffocate to death- but no, I was fine and woke up with a sensation of vitality which my body hasn’t felt for probably 20 yrs. I’ve been a mouth breather for as long as I can remember and falsely believed it’s a good thing since I can take in more air. I’m in my 40s now and seriously just can’t remember the last time I slept soundly throughout the night. It always takes me forever to fall asleep and wake up feeling groggy, tired and a bit pissy. For the past 4 days I’ve fallen asleep quicker, continuously, and funnily in the same position! I feel incredible and will be spreading the message.

  7. Your article is fantastic. I forwarded it to my grown kids and grand kids (19 of them), several of whom snore rather loudly.
    Several years ago not being able to find a Dentist or Doctor who could relieve the pain from “Burning Mouth Syndrome,” I started taping my mouth shut at night (by chance) to keep from mouth breathing and hurting so bad. WOW! What a surprise? The pain became manageable, I could taste again (after a couple of years suffering), I quit snoring and sleeping became wonderful and I was able to throw away my “breathe right strips” after getting my deviated nasal septum fixed. It was truly a life changing event for me. After experimenting, I started using a 1×3 inch J & J Band Aid. I split one end almost thru the pad and can thus make a “Y” by taping one strip on either side of my nose and the un-split end taped down to my chin. (The pad fits over my lips so no lotion is required). I found this will let me breathe or cough by pulling in my bottom lip if necessary (it’s fairly easy). Thanks for you good advice. It will improve the health of many people.

    • Vented mouth taping technique: Brilliant! Thanks for the kind words, and I’m so glad you and your family have benefitted from mouth taping.

      drb

  8. I was tolld by a sleep disorder test that I stopped breathing for up to 30 seconds a few times the niht I was checked. Am on a bipap, not cpap. Have dry mouth and throaat. Sometimes lipe stick to teeth. Need to get up and wet mouth. I can see the benefit of nose breathing, which I can easily do. Question: Will I run a risk of not breathing if I pursue the mouth taping?

  9. I was told by a sleep disorder test that I stopped breathing for up to 30 seconds a few times the night I was checked. Am on a bi-pap, not c-pap. Have dry mouth and throat. Sometimes lips stick to teeth. Need to get up and wet mouth. I can see the benefit of nose breathing, which I can easily do. Question: Will I run a risk of not breathing if I pursue the mouth taping?

    • Before I taped according to my wife I would stop breathing and would gasp for air on a regular basis. After I taped my wife has not mentioned that I stop breathing or gasp for air anymore.

  10. I’m bearded and wondering if a chin strap could be used to achieve the same effect as the tape. Is there any reason why taping is superior?

    • I can address the chin strap idea. It does not work well for people who need the mandible moved forward. Chin straps pull the mandible closed by pulling it up and back at an angle. This can actually make the problem worse for those with a need for a MAD.

  11. I am a fifty year old man who began mouth taping last July and only stopped for a month in the fall while having a harvest beard. My digestion is so much better when I tape, I don’t wake up with dry mouth, sleep longer thru the night, and wake up more rested. I use two half inch pieces of 3M medical tape. This works better than only one half inch piece in the middle of my lips. I will continue this simple yet effective solution to stop snoring and to stop grasping for breath!

    • And that’s exactly what I do, but the tape is such that it could be removed by determined lip movement if needed. So long as the nasal passages are clear is works very well like you say. My doctor just laughed, ‘said it sounded dangerous!

      • A sneeze or cough will easily release the tape if necessary. I have some family members that are skeptical. My wife thinks it is a good practice for me but she has yet to try it herself. I’m happy that it works for you too!

  12. I’m a dentist and have suggested mouth taping to mouth breathing patients for many years, but until recently I had never tried it myself.
    My problem is that since I got a bad cold about 18 months ago I have found it increasingly difficult to go back to nasal breathing; my wife reports sleep apnoea (I stop breathing for extended periods then make a big snort, gasp and then start breathing again) and fairly loud snoring.
    I decided to try the 1″ 3M micropore tape – I have a moustache and beard but this doesn’t seem to matter- and the results are amazing. For the last two nights I have woken without a dry mouth, without all the usual aches and pains (I’m 62 so I thought that was “normal”) and feeling fully rested. Even better is that my wife is better rested too, so I get even less pain from that department!
    I should probably add that I also wear an NTI-tss (or Sleep Clench Inhibitor SCi) device as well as I have a history of nocturnal bruxism. This doesn’t seem to cause a problem.
    I will certainly be recommending this technique to many more of my patients now.

  13. This is amazing! Not sure how I never heard of this simple trick, but I will suggest my husband tape his mouth. He is a terrible mouth-breather and snorer; it keeps me up at night, and it is getting worse as he ages. He has never been tested for sleep apnea, but will this help his snoring? I don’t want to suffocate him, but I do want BOTH of us to get a better night’s sleep!

    • Did your husband try mouth taping? It should reduce snoring. It quiets my snoring unless I have a stuffy nose. I also think it reduces stuffy nose

  14. I am interested about the mouth tape but mouth tape is not available in our locality. Can I use other types of tape instead of mouth tape?

  15. Okay, I am confused. Some say taping makes them sleep better. However, I have sleep apnia and have a Somnodent Ortal Appliance which pulls my lower jaw out. Taping would negate the effects of the appliance. How do both of these practices fit into the bigger picture? I want a good night’s sleep AND stop snoring.

    • It is very simple. Some of us have mandibles that are too far backward and they must be moved forward to allow the throat’s air passage to be open. Then we need to make sure the nasal passages are open. Barring a stuffy nose, we simple can open the nostrils by using something like a nose strip. Finally, to make sure we breathe thru our noses rather than our mouth, we need some means to keep the mouth closed. Hence the need for tape.

      • Thanks, Michael. But how do I know what is the best way? Do I use the strip on the nose IN CONJUNCTION WITH the appliance? Obviously, I cannot use the jaw strap while using the appliance. So, that one is out.

        • Harry, you are quite correct, but only if the jaw strap pulls backwards at an angle, which I realize most of them do. I’ve been toying with an idea to make a jaw strap that pulls straight upward from the chin. I believe this requires a headband and straps at the back of the head as well, so as to balance out the pull at the front.

          In my case, I believe the ultimate solution is to combine all the solutions, including a nice appliance from Somnowell, when I can afford that.

  16. I bought the tape to try this out but it doesn’t stay on because of the facial lotions that I apply at night. I really don’t want to give up my skincare routine. Is there some other alternative?

    • I was thinking I was going to have the same problem. But, I realized that if I just don’t apply my nightly moisturizer in the ‘tape’ area it would be fine. I just moisturized that area in the morning

        • I put vaseline on my lips only and never have any problem, that really helped me because with the CPAP my mouth was very dry, I can  not stand the heat of the humidifier,

    • HNN, I used to, especially during the dry cold weather. I started pushing against the tape with my tongue and wetting my lips a little before slowly pulling it off, no problems since.

  17. I wear a night guard and the past week one tooth is sensitive. I believe the sensitive tooth is higher than the matching tooth on other side. Therefore cause that tooth to be sensitive. Just wondering if that makes sense. I wear a too night guard. Would a bottom guard be the solution. I clench at night possibly grinding. Is tapping suppose to help clenching and grinding? My current dentist is of no help ag this time. Please give me some answers.

  18. I’ve tried this for two nights now. I had been using the ZQuiet mouthpiece and while it worked for not snoring, I breathed through my mouth all night and it was cumbersome. The dentist mentioned mouth taping so I tried it. It was much more comfortable. The first night I didn’t have enough tape and it came off at some point because of drool, moisturizer, or sweat – I remember peeling it off at some point because it was flapping around. Last night’s piece made it all night. I felt like I slept better (I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night and could have slept longer when the alarm went off!) but my husband said I was snoring quite loudly, and I’m groggy today.

    Will this get better? Do I need to wear the ZQuiet and tape together? Any advice?

  19. Mouth taping changed my sleep forever. Heard about it on a Podcast, and gave it a try because my mouth was dry each morning. The cool thing is that your nose clears itself once you start nasal breathing. Telling everyone I can about it. Seems weird but since there is no profit in it I guess that’s why its not promoted by doctors or pharmacies.

    • How do you tape? Do you use tie your jaw or use tape? I can’t tape because I have a heavy must ache, which I will never be without.

      • I tape every night and have a moustache – it’s really not a problem as there’s no hair on your lips 🙂 – I use 3M 25mm micropore tape.

        • Yes, a friend has found 3M Micropore 25mm tape to be perfect for taping the mouth shut overnight (skin cleanshaven, de-greased by normal facewashing, no creams or other oily cosmetics applied after facewashing). Says it sticks firmly, easy to remove, leaves no traces, no need to clean the skin afterwards. Inexpensive and obtainable from pharmacies worldwide (no need to mail-order etc.).

    • Could be that you are mostly a mouth breather but are able to keep the tape on through the night. I’d see an ENT and have hime check your nasal breathing.

      Mouth taping is a great home diagnostic for some, telling you it’s time to have your nasal breathing checked.

      drb

      • Hi Dr. Burhenne, Thank you for replying. I do have a deviated septum. I also have an OSA but have not been able to sleep with the CPAP. I have trained myself to sleep on my side, by placing a tennis ball on the back of my t-shirt with a rubber band. I’ve only forgotten to use the tennis ball once in 2 years and I woke up in the middle of the night, face up gasping for air. What are my options if you don’t mind. Blessings.

  20. Err. Something about this really doesn’t rub me the right way, but maybe it’s my anxiety issues. I breathe through my nose 99% of my time spent awake, but sometimes I get nighttime/morning congestion and disabling my backup breathing mechanism is a really scary idea to me.

    • Yes, it must be in your head. 😉 But there will be no problem if you have no congestion in your nostrils. To help with that, don’t forget to use the Breathe Right strips.

      The bottom line is that one must be at peace when they go to bed. If that is not the case, then find out why.

    • I have taped for over a year and have not had any issue of needing to get a breath from my mouth. I was very good at gasping for air in the night before I started taping. If my nose plugged up, I’m confident I would wake up and be able to rip off the tape.

  21. Did it last night for the first time. AMAZING! Hard to explain but I feel like a new person. Tape came off in the morning to cough but I didn’t need it. I continued diaphragmatic nasal breathing all day.

    Sad to hear people who dismiss this without trying it. They can put it on 1 hour before bed and they will feel better before they even fall asleep.

    • I wish it had worked for me, but I would wake up with a headache when I had the tape on. Maybe it’s my sleep apnea or my deviated septum. Not sure.

      • Eddie,
        Have you check with ENT specialist yet? Remember the doctor’s advice. Don’t do anything more until you do. Better safe than sorry.

        Two common sources of headaches is lack of oxygen (hypoxia, as in altitude sickness) and dehydration. Many people (most of the population?) are chronically dehydrated. And I mean from lack of water. Such will definitely affect good rest because the body is out of normal equilibrium.

        You can check the last two yourself while you wait for your doctor’s appointment. Drink a lot of water and make sure your sinus passages are open.

  22. I can’t emphasise more how much truth there is in this post! I’ve used the suggestions in the article but by far the best results so far have been with my recent discovery of KT Tape. Results are amazing. I highly recommend it

  23. It must be something like I use; 3M Micropore paper type tape with something on the lips.I use vaseline only where the tape is on the lips ,it is very gentle will not irritate the skin, used in medical facilities for dressings and sold everywhere. Since I tape about 3 years I have not had a cold since, used to have bad sinus infections and stuffed nose I was using gallons of medicated cold & allergy relief sprays, no more, not even a cold
    This is my own experience I also have a CPAP for sleep apnea and do well with both now.

  24. For Harry : It must be something like I use; 3M Micropore paper type tape with something on the lips.I use vaseline only where the tape is on the lips ,it is very gentle will not irritate the skin, used in medical facilities for dressings and sold everywhere. Since I tape about 3 years I have not had a cold since, used to have bad sinus infections and stuffed nose I was using gallons of medicated cold & allergy relief sprays, no more, not even a cold
    This is my own experience I also have a CPAP for sleep apnea and do well with both now.

  25. OMG!!! This actually works! My boyfriend loves sleeping again! Although I have a deviated septum and still make “noises” when I sleep, it is nothing compared to what it was! The first couple of nights we laughed so hard that I popped the tape right off my face, but after getting over the appearance of my mouth taped shut, we sleep together peacefully. Is there a type of device that a dentist could make that would keep my upper and lower teeth together (like a removable double retainer) while I sleep? I’m thinking of getting out my paper clips and engineering a model of my own! 🙂

  26. I want to mention that I have started using the 3M Nexcare flexible clear tape in one inch wide size for mouth taping. It has done a good job for me, and the best that I have found. It works over a beard and mustache, and stays in place, while others did not.

    This can leave behind some stickiness from the adhesive, but it is easily removed, as the manufacturer recommends, by the application of baby or vegetable oil. Leave on surface for a minute or two and wipe off. Works great.

    Ofttimes I have some adhesive left behind after removal of the Breathe Right Extra strips. I have usually removed it by dabbing at the residue with the sticky side of the removed strip itself, until all is gone. But I have noticed that the oil works here as well.

    I am very pleased with the positive results I gain from the use of the strips and the tape. My nights are much more restful, even without the MAD.

  27. Learned of your site through the Arthritis Summit. I was browsing your articles on sleep and when I read the first one regarding covering the mouth with tape, I started laughing because I have been doing that for five months now. I initially thought of it when I saw little gnats in a room I was sleeping in as a quest and didn’t want them in my mouth as I slept. I had been considering some kind of a mouth guard prior to this after learning how important it was to breath through the nose. So I tried the tape for a temporary fix and have been using it since. My husband doesn’t even know and I have told no one else. So fun to hear I am not crazy to use tape to keep my mouth closed while I sleep!!

  28. Dr. Burhenne,
    My wife and I are enjoying the benefits of mouth taping, but the tape you’re recommending is not the best.
    3M’s Micropore seems gentle and easy to peel off when you test it briefly. But after a wonderful 8 hour nose breathing sleep the stuff is welded on to your skin! You can’t feel the edge of the tape to begin peeling, try as you may. Then panic sets in. Ultimately, I had to force open my mouth, and it wasn’t easy to do. The tape tore, but not off my face. It tore longitudinally, right down the middle of the horizontal strip! Only then could I find an edge to grasp and peel, and it didn’t peel off easily, leaving its glue behind.

    Silk tape works well. So does a different 3M surgical tape called Nexcare. No more Micropore please!

  29. I wonder if it’s safe to do this mouth taping while pregnant. I usually breathe through my nose if I can at night, but since becoming pregnant my nose is a lot more stuffed up and occasionally bloody in the expelled mucous or snot, which they say is normal because of higher levels of hormones. My mouth is dry whenever I wake up because I breathe through it more because of this. Any thoughts on the safety of mouth taping while pregnant?

    • Common sense tells us that the whole purpose of using the tape is to make sure our body is using a proper breathing methodology. Therefore, it stands to reason that it is better to have proper air flow than not so as to increase the oxygen saturation in the blood stream while at rest. This in turn will actually help the baby.

      With all that said, I am guessing here that the issues you have may not be hormonal but rather diet-related and exercise level related. As a Bradley Method birth coach I do know the extreme importance of those last items. Reduce or eliminate all animal products. Go for frequent walks. Do your necessary exercises. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits and nuts. Drink lots of water. This should clear out your body and reduce the build up of mucus.

      Good luck on such an important and exciting event!

  30. i am wearing a mouth guard from my dentist just in case I grind my teeth. I have quite a bad overbite and after having a dental implant fracture in situ and another one fitted. Shortly after my dentist advised that I should wear the mouth guard in case I grind my teeth. I am a mouth breather but have no knowledge or evidence from my family that I grind my teeth. I really dislike the mouth guard on hygiene reasons . My worry is if I grind my teeth, would taping make the grinding worse?

  31. My personal experience is that teeth grinding and mouth breathing are two distinct and separate issues. The issue of hygiene is a separate issue, but I will give my 2 cents in that order.

    If a doctor does not want you to grind your teeth, it must stop to protect the teeth you have. With that said, it appears you must wear the guard device.

    There seems no sure way to tell if grinding is worse with mouth tape, but that would take a scientific study and you have no time for that.

    There is no good reason to breathe thru your mouth, so that must stop as a separate issue. Being relaxed and breathing properly should help with the grinding, as it only stands to reason.

    Any oral appliance must be cleaned daily. The only way I have found to keep things hygienic is to use a sonic bath and Polident tablets. It works for me. You will know right away if it smells fresh.

    Hope this helps.

  32. I have been mouth taping for three months. I sleep deeper, wake up refreshed, and have much more energy during the day. My problem is that I often wake up during the night with a mouth full of air. I know this is not coming from around my tape, as I tape securely with two strips across my lips and two strips from under my nose to under my chin. I first used a paper tape from Walgreen’s and this did not happen. However when I went back and got the same Walgreen brand again, it did happen. I have also tried adhesive tape and get the same poor results. This mouth full of air usually occurs after sleeping, problem free, for about four hours. What is happening? What can I do about it? It is very annoying and sleep disturbing.

  33. Hi,

    So I am a clencher. Just watched a video by Dr. B explaining that nighttime clenching and grinding may be a result of sleep apnea. That makes a lot of sense to me. It could also explain why I never wake up feeling refreshed and why I crave stimulants like coffee or tea in the morning. I generally avoid these cause I’m pretty sensitive to caffeine and they mess me up.

    I will get the apnea thing checked out, but I am writing because I had taped for the first time tonight and had a weird reaction. Went to bed at 10PM. No probs breathing with the tape. Woke at about 11:30 with a strong buzzing sensation in hands and feet and was also hungry. Got up, had a small snack. Limbs are still buzzing 20 minutes later. Feels weird. Could this be connected to the use of the tape?

  34. I’d continue to tape to see if it’s related. Then stop after a week and see if it goes away. Though you may not be able to sleep with your mouth closed as you did wake up 1.5 hrs later. See an ENT and have your nasal passages checked. Also, if you think you have sleep apnea, I’d get a sleep as well. A very reliable and quick and inexpensive version here: knithealth.com/askthedentist.

    Good luck!

    drb

  35. Thanks for the response, Dr. B. I have continued to tape without that buzzing issue. I wake up often anyway. Feel like I am never getting good REM. Good news tho. Thanks to you, I went to my doc this morning and will be doing the home sleep study. So grateful to have found your info. I would have never considered apnea. Interestingly, I came across your alternate profile for apnea and I fit into 3 categories. Petite woman (around 100lbs), long neck, and wasn’t breast fed. This is in addition to the fact that I clench my teeth at night.

    I suspect that I may have had apnea for many years. I am also cursed with a very poor ability to process caffeine, which is a definite drawback. Without it, I drag myself through the day. Feel like I have spent my whole life trying to find the right stimulant. Coffee and tea just make it worse at night. If this is the problem and I can fix it, my life will be so much better. Thanks again for getting the message out. It has the potential to really change lives.

  36. Taping, and side sleeping, have made a huge difference for me. I don’t sleep perfectly yet, but it’s a great improvement. Over breathing and mouth breathing (day or night) and anxiety seem to go hand-in-hand, so other ways to reduce anxiety seem to help as well – meditation, exercise (while nose breathing), lifestyle changes, etc.

    I’ve been using athletic tape from The Dollar Store ($1 per roll) – Assured Athletic Tape, 1 1/2 in x 8 yds for about 2 years. Works great and low cost. I apply a light coating of lip balm around my mouth area and on my lips (too much and it won’t stick, too little and it does stick tightly), then fold the corners after I apply so I have a pull tab to more easily remove. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t leave residue. I found other athletic tapes to be too strong, but this is the cheapo brand, works great for me.

    If you’re thinking about taping, and worried you may feel panicked or uncomfortable, I found that starting with a piece that left the corners of my mouth open just a little bit was a way to ease into it. Once I felt the difference in the morning, I was all on board.

  37. I must say that I have recently had excellent results with the one inch wide clear 3M Transpore tape. Even with a beard and mustache, it sticks all night long, well enough for me. I am very pleased.

    Please note that if there is any adhesive residue left over, have a small container of vegetable oil handy and rub a little around over your lips and cheek wherever you find it sticky. After that, wipe it off with a little toilet tissue and you’re good to go.

    • Michael, Did sleeping with you mouth tape reap any benefits? I am a mouth breather because of my chronic congestion at night.Thanks

      • Oh my, yes, Eddie! No snoring, even without a mandibular advancement device (MAD). No dry mouth. No apnea at all.

        I should say that I have also begun sleeping with an incline (try a night in a recliner to see how it works). This takes the load off of the throat wanting to close up the farther back one reclines. The problems is that the tongue wants to fall into the throat, as you know.

        I found the same problem at the dentist’s office. When they recline me too much I cannot breathe thru my nose.

        I believe we must all take any steps we must so as to have a good solid night’s sleep. A good pure latex mattress that is of the correct firmness for our body weight, a good pillow, a dark and quiet room and a cool environment are all a necessity. We need to learn to sleep on our sides, and with the proper mattress, we can learn to sleep much better.

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