Waking up with a dry mouth is never comfortable, and it can also wreak havoc on your oral health. Mouth taping is a modern “sleep hack” that can lessen mouth breathing and aid in a better night’s sleep.
Mouth breathing, which can cause snoring, also causes disruptions in your sleep and keeps you from feeling rested.
In contrast, nasal breathing creates nitrous oxide, which increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and improves brain function.
Using mouth tape promotes breathing through your nose by gently keeping your mouth shut while sleeping.
How does it work?
Although mouth-taping products exist, sports and surgical tape can also work. Most mouth-taping products are made from gentle, nontoxic materials. The tape is strong enough to promote nose breathing but it can be removed without much effort.
What are the benefits?
The practice benefits your oral and overall health. Breathing through your nose aids in filtering out dust and harmful allergens, while mouth breathing gives you a dry mouth leading to bad breath and tooth decay.
Additional benefits include fewer cavities, reduced snoring, increased REM sleep and increased cognitive function.
Are there side effects?
There are no clinical studies on mouth taping yet. Though it’s not considered a proven treatment, some dental professionals recommend it based on the potential oral-health benefits. Be sure to let your dental professional know if you have nasal congestion before trying mouth tape.
Some potential side effects include allergic reaction to the tape and insomnia.
More ways to avoid mouth breathing while sleeping include avoiding alcohol before bed, avoid smoking, use a nasal strip and elevate your head while sleeping.
If you think you can benefit from mouth taping, speak to your physician or dentist to see if it’s right for you.