by Mary Griffin-
The latest TikTok sleeping hack is designed to turn anyone into a nose breather. Known as mouth taping, Influencers and TikTok users have claimed mouth taping benefits them in ways from snoring less, reducing bad breath, and even sharpening their jawline.
Mouth taping is just as it sounds, it is the act of taping your mouth shut, forcing you to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth when you sleep.
One creator, @courtneysnelll, who creates wellness videos, posted a TikTok stating that “humans are the worst nose breathers in the entire animal kingdom.” As well as claims that mouth breathing causes conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, heart failure, and dental abnormalities.
The #mouthtaping already has over 54.4 million views on TikTok as well as #mouthtapingforsleep which has over 13.6 million views.
However, despite its popularity, medical professionals suggest the research behind the benefits of mouth taping is lacking and even adds safety risks.
According to an article by Cleveland Clinic, breathing through your nose has several health benefits including lowering blood pressure, filtering allergens, and moisturizing your throat, but sleep medicine specialist Cinthya Pena Orbea, MD, claims that most of this evidence is “anecdotal” and that there is not enough to support that mouth taping is beneficial. Rather than mouth taping, Dr. Pena Orbea states there are “alternative methods to address conditions like snoring and sleep apnea directly.”
Mouth taping, Dr.Orbea also suggests, could cause irritation and even a rash when used. Dr. Orbea suggests discussing this practice with a doctor before putting it into action.
Kaninika Verma, MD, clinical sleep director at OSF HealthCare, discusses mouth breathing in an article published by OSF HealthCare.
Dr. Verma agrees that people are supposed to breathe in and out using their nose, but due to safety reasons mouth taping is not the best practice or technique. According to Dr. Verma, snoring stems from a bigger issue and it is important to figure out the root of the issue rather than forcing the body to breathe through the nose.
Verma also claims that mouth taping is a practice that no physician would recommend to a patient.
Causes of mouth breathing include; snoring, blocked nasal passages, enlarged tonsils, and being a natural mouth breather.
While mouth taping may be trendy, those with health and medical backgrounds tend to stray away from it.