February 21, 2023 4 min read
If you’ve been active on social media platforms such as TikTok, you’ve probably seen the new viral mouth taping trend where people place tape on their mouths before they go to sleep to ensure they breathe through their noses and don’t snore. The recent fad, mouth taping, has garnered a lot of attention online lately, but is it safe and recommended by professionals? Read on to learn more about whether mouth taping works, and most importantly if it's safe.
As the name suggests, mouth taping is when you tape your mouth closed using a skin-safe tape. This encourages you to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth while you sleep. Mouth taping has gained popularity for its purported improvement of snoring and oral hygiene. In this article, we’ll discuss how mouth taping works, potential benefits, side effects, and how you can safely try this viral trend at home.
While there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to support mouth taping, there is some anecdotal evidence that mouth taping can be used to prevent snoring, reduce allergies, and eliminate bad breath..
The use of mouth tape is believed to prevent snoring by causing the snorer to breathe through their mouth, thereby changing the angle of the soft palate and the tongue. The soft palate is the tissue at the roof of the mouth that can shift positions, restricting airflow and causing snoring. An initial 2022 study on mouth taping showed that using a skin-safe tape before bedtime did result in significantly less snoring for those diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that is characterized by snoring.
Mouth taping may also be used to reduce allergies and eliminate bad breath by filtering allergens and enabling saliva flow, two acts that are often obstructed with mouth breathing.
Nasal breathing has known benefits when compared to mouth breathing, and that’s the reason that people have claimed certain benefits of mouth taping. Keep in mind that more research needs to be done on mouth taping as mouth taping is currently not recommended by physicians and other health professionals.
Mouth taping benefits that have been anecdotally reported are as follows:
While these benefits seem promising, it is important to take note of the potential risks of mouth taping as well.
Since there is much research to be done to fully assess the efficacy and safety of mouth taping, many medical experts warn of mouth taping risks. Risks exist even when using tape designed for mouth taping, but there are enhanced risks when using tape that is not intended for the mouth or for sleeping, such as duct or masking tape.
If you are interested in trying mouth taping yourself, always consult a health professional and use appropriately designed mouth tape.
Mouth taping side effects and risks are as follows:
There is a lack of research looking into whether mouth taping can help to stop teeth grinding (bruxism). However, since there isn’t a lot of research overall on mouth taping, it is possible that mouth taping might be helpful in preventing teeth grinding. The reason for this is that many studies have shown that there is a relationship between sleep apnea and sleep bruxism and also that mouth breathing is closely linked to bruxism. The reason for this link is that when your muscles relax during sleep, your tongue might fall backward, obstructing the airway, and therefore your breathing. In turn, your brain sends signals for your jaw to slide forward, thus opening the airway to allow breathing. However, this sliding of the jaw causes both mouth breathing and teeth grinding when the upper and lower jaw clash during this sliding maneuver.
These relationships could mean that mouth taping can help those suffering from bruxism as mouth taping prevents mouth breathing. Again, there is no research suggesting that mouth taping can help to stop teeth grinding, but some sources have speculated that mouth taping could be used to treat bruxism given the relationship to both mouth breathing and sleep apnea.
Until more research is conducted on bruxism and mouth taping, dentists recommend wearing a mouth guard during sleep to protect your teeth from damage and limit any uncomfortable side effects of teeth grinding.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of mouth taping and want to try it yourself, be sure to first consult a healthcare or medical professional. Next, it is crucial to use tape made specifically for mouth taping. These tapes are porous and are designed to be used while sleeping. You can also opt for mouth tape options that are hypoallergenic, commonly found at pharmacies.
There are no official guidelines for how to safely mouth tape, but it might be a good idea to try the tape on during the day, while you’re awake. This way, you can determine whether you have any difficulty breathing or suffer from any irritation with the tape.
Clinicians recommend seeing a sleep specialist or doctor if you suspect you suffer from a sleep disorder before you reach for the mouth tape. If you find yourself having difficulty breathing through your nose, you should not try mouth taping. These breathing issues could be caused by a variety of factors, including a deviated septum, allergies, or chronic congestion. It is crucial to determine the cause of your sleep or breathing-related issues prior to trying home remedies.
Whether you suffer from teeth grinding or bad breath, we are committed to keeping you in the loop. Stay tuned to the Word of Mouth as we keep you informed on all the latest treatments, remedies, and viral trends related to oral health!
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