Have you heard of mouth tape for sleeping? It’s not just the latest wellness trend; mouth tape offers significant benefits, such as improving sleep quality and oral health.
The mouth connects to the rest of the body and is an essential piece of the health puzzle from a functional medicine perspective. Many Rejuvenation Health patients ask about sleep tape and the overall health benefits.
Keep reading to learn more about:
- Mouth tape for sleep
- Benefits of mouth taping
- How to stop mouth breathing
- Best mouth tape for sleeping
Let’s get started!
What is Mouth Taping?
Is mouth taping dangerous? Mouth taping is safe and low risk, as long as you use the correct kind of tape. Using a porous tape is necessary so you can still breathe through your mouth if needed. Mouth taping may be uncomfortable and take some getting used to. I don’t recommend mouth tape for infants or children.
How long Does it Take for Mouth Taping to Work?
It may take you some time to get used to sleeping with a taped mouth. I recommend using the strips for a couple of weeks to begin to see the benefits. Then, you can use the strips as long as necessary to train yourself to breathe through your nose at night. Eventually, you may discontinue use while maintaining the mouth taping benefits.
Does Mouth Tape Help with Clenching?
Jaw clenching at night may be a sign of bruxism, that I’ll discuss more below. Likely, many factors contribute to clenching, but one of them may be the body’s attempt to get more air into the lungs.
Benefits of Mouth Taping
There have been minimal studies on mouth taping, and there is a need for more rigorous research to assess the benefits for different populations. However, in my clinical experience, I’ve seen mouth taping help my patients. It is an intervention with minimal risk or downside, especially for those who know they breathe through their mouth at night.
Reduces Snoring and Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Mouth breathers are more likely to snore and have sleep apnea compared to those who breathe through their nose. If you snore through your nose, mouth tape for snoring is less likely to help.
One small study in patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea suggests mouth taping is beneficial. Participants used 3M mouth tape and monitored their sleep at home using a device. After one week, 13 of the 20 participants demonstrated a positive response, with a 50% reduction in snoring and decreased sleep apnea symptoms.
Improve Sleep Quality
When considering how to improve sleep quality, correcting mouth breathing may be one factor to consider. Chronic mouth breathing may diminish sleep quality and lead to other health concerns. The above study showed sleep benefits to mouth taping in people with mild sleep apnea.
Raise Energy Levels
If you have better sleep and more oxygen to your brain at night because of a taped mouth, energy levels tend to improve. You may get more restorative benefits from sleep and be less tired throughout the day. You’ll have more energy for exercise, healthy eating, and other wellness behaviors.
While bruxism is multifactorial, in some cases, it may be the body’s attempt to increase airflow in passageways. Functional medicine approaches for bruxism include improving sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques. In some cases, mouth taping is helpful.
There isn’t direct research looking at mouth taping and anxiety, but research suggests that mouth taping improves cognitive function in mouth breathers. Because everything in the body is connected, better sleep and enhanced oxygen to the brain may be helpful for anxiety.
Limit Mouth Dryness
Mouth breathing is problematic for oral health. It leads to dry mouth, bad breath, and undesirable changes to the oral microbiome. Therefore, mouth breathing can cause periodontal disease and cavities. Mouth taping is a low risk and often effective solution.
Best Mouth Tape for Sleeping
How to tape mouth for sleep:
All mouth tape brands work the same. Relax your lips and place tape over the upper and lower lips. Breathe normally through your nose. It may take a few nights to get the hang of it.
Somnifix is a popular and widely available brand. Somnifix mouth strips fit over the whole mouth and include a breathing vent. They help improve nose breathing, even when using a CPAP machine. They are also a good mouth tape for snorers.
Hostage Mouth Tape
Hostage mouth tape is another option; they are comfortable and breathable, yet strong.
3M Mouth Tape
3M hypoallergenic mouth tape was the brand used in the sleep apnea and snoring study discussed above.
Dryft sleep is yet another mouth tape for sleep benefits.
Myotape mouth tape is a bit different than the other options as it doesn’t go over the lips. It goes around the lips to encourage you to keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose. The company also offers an option for children.
Whether you choose Myotape, Somnifix mouth tape, or another option that works for you, the benefits are the same: improved sleep, breathing, and oral health. Ready to dive more into sleep, oral health, and overall health? Schedule a consultation today.
- Lee, Y. C., Lu, C. T., Cheng, W. N., & Li, H. Y. (2022). The Impact of Mouth-Taping in Mouth-Breathers with Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Preliminary Study.Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 10(9), 1755.
- Lal, S.J., Weber, D.D.S. K.K. Bruxism Management. [Updated 2022 Oct 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-.
- Jung, J. Y., & Kang, C. K. (2021). Investigation on the Effect of Oral Breathing on Cognitive Activity Using Functional Brain Imaging.Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(6), 645.