Mouth taping is a practice of taping your mouth at night to prevent mouth breathing and encourage people to breathe through their nose. It is also practised to reduce snoring. It is widely accepted and followed by people these days and is gaining a lot of attention. Many people are practising this as a home remedy for snoring and are giving their opinion on whether people should try it or not.
So, today we will see how mouth taping works, what are its advantages and disadvantages and does it really help with snoring?
How does mouth-taping work?
Mouth taping is the practice of using a porous tape to close your mouth at night before you fall asleep. It forces a person to breathe through their nose instead of their mouth. This way, it can help prevent mouth breathing and its negative effects, including sore throat, dry mouth and ad breath.
What are the advantages of mouth-taping?
- It helps encourage people to breathe through their nose.
- Prevents mouth breathing.
- Prevents sore throat due to mouth breathing.
- May help reduce bad breath.
- May help provide deep sleep, thereby providing better concentration.
- It can help reduce daytime fatigue, snoring, dry mouth and dehydration at night.
- It helps reduce dental problems caused by mouth breathing.
What are the disadvantages of mouth taping?
- Taping your mouth may sometimes not be the right way to avoid mouth breathing.
- In people with difficulty breathing, it may lead to suffocation.
- If a person vomits while taping the mouth, it may cause choking and suffocation, which can be dangerous.
- In nasal congestion or blockage, when the nose is unable to carry enough oxygen to the lungs, breathing from the mouth may help you with breathing. Hence, in such cases mouth taping cannot be a good choice.
- In conditions like moderate to severe sleep apnea, the airways become partially obstructed, which makes breathing difficult. Hence, Mouth taping may not help people with moderate to severe sleep apnea.
- Mouth taping may sometimes lead to anxiety and disrupted sleep.
- It may cause irritation and itching in and around the lips.
How to tape your mouth safely?
It is very important to know the right way to tape the mouth. It is also necessary to know which tape to use.
It is always advised to use porous tape that is safe on human skin for mouth taping and not duct tape, masking tape or any other tape that is not intended for application to human skin.
Also, it is always good to talk to a doctor before practising this technique. It is better not to go for mouth taping if you have any medical conditions like nasal polyps, allergies, cold, sinusitis, or nasal congestion. It can make breathing even more difficult.
To reduce the irritation caused by the tape, you can apply oil to your skin and then put the porous tape. Also, it is good to fold the tape at one end. Hence, it becomes easier to remove it in the morning.
Does mouth-taping really help with snoring?
Snoring is caused when there is a partial obstruction of airflow. It can be caused by various reasons, like allergies, nasal blockage, family history, etc. Snoring can sometimes even be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.
Mouth taping may help reduce snoring. A study was done on a small group of people with mild obstructive sleep apnea. The results showed that all the participants were able to reduce their snoring by mouth taping.
Practice breathing exercises: It helps keep your airways open. For people who have allergies and nasal blockage, snoring can be a major symptom due to nasal blockage. Practising breathing exercises can help in such conditions.
Practice neck and jaw exercises: This can help people with snoring by reducing the fat around the neck.
Sleep on your side: People who sleep on their backs are more likely to snore. Sleeping on your side may help with snoring to some extent. Sleeping with your head raised to about 4 inches can also be beneficial.
Keep your bed sheets clean: Snoring can be caused due to allergies. Keeping your bed sheets clean can help reduce allergies, especially dust mite allergies. It is preferable to change your bed sheets weekly to help deal with allergies and hence snoring.
Use a humidifier: Humidifier can help keep the nasal passages warm and moist. This can help reduce nasal blockage caused due to various reasons like allergies, the common cold, flu, sinusitis, etc.
Use a saline nasal spray: A saline nasal spray can help with snoring. It helps remove the excess mucus in the nasal and sinus cavity.
According to a recent study, the saline nasal spray can help reduce snoring and sleep-disordered breathing in children.