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What is mouth taping?

Mouth taping 101: Have you taped your mouth shut?

By Lancette VanGuilder, Clinical Director 

 Sierra Sleep, Airway and Wellness Center

In the pursuit of improved health, many people are turning to mouth tape to breathe and sleep better. Viral TikTok videos, sleep and wellness specialists, and even elite athletes are touting mouth tape to enhance physical performance, eliminate snoring, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality by encouraging more optimal breathing through the nose. This idea might seem strange or uncomfortable, but there can be a wide range of health benefits. Let’s look at the concept of mouth taping, the benefits and how to do it safely.

What is mouth taping?

Mouth taping involves placing a small piece of tape over the lips (vertical or horizontal) before going to sleep. The purpose behind this practice is to help keep the mouth closed, lips together and help relax muscles to encourage your body to breathe through the nose. This can be done throughout the day or night to prevent mouth breathing.

Why is mouth breathing bad?

When we breathe through our mouth, cold, dry and unfiltered air reaches our body. This is an unhealthy and inefficient way to breathe since it exposes our body to irritants and decreases the amount of oxygen our body gets. Breathing through the nose is the natural and best way for humans to breathe. Our noses are designed to filter, humidify, and warm the temperature of the air we breathe in, allowing for oxygen to easily get to the parts of the body that need it the most.  Nasal breathing also produces nitric oxide, a gas that can relax muscles, help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, enhance physical performance, increase blood flow in the body, support wound healing and improve oxygen uptake. When we breathe through our mouth, we bypass all these important functions, potentially leading to a variety of health issues. 

The MANY Benefits of Mouth Taping

  1. More Oxygen: Nasal breathing leads to better oxygenation of the blood due to the filtration and humidification processes that occur in the nasal passages. This can have positive effects on overall energy levels and cognitive function.

  2. Better Sleep Quality: Nasal breathing promotes deeper and more restful sleep. It encourages proper oxygen exchange and ensures that the body receives adequate oxygen levels throughout the night.

  3. Reduced Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Mouth taping can help reduce snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea by encouraging the airways to stay open. When we breathe through our mouth, the soft tissues at the back of the throat are more likely to collapse, causing snoring or interruptions in breathing.

  4. Improved Oral Health: Mouth breathing also contributes to a dry mouth, leading to increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer. Nasal breathing creates an environment for a healthier mouth and body.

  5. Helps Growth and Development: Nasal breathing helps promote proper development of the jaws and face. It can also assist with developing space for the tongue and the ideal placement of the tongue on the roof of mouth. Not to mention, breathing through the nose also helps develop better posture and improve head and neck alignment.

Safety first!

A few things to consider before trying mouth taping:

  1. Choose the tape: Select a tape that is safe for use on the skin. Fabric or medical tape are good choices. Another option is to search for companies specializing in mouth tape.

  2. How to place the tape: When starting, it may be helpful to start with a small piece of medical tape, placed vertically in the middle of the lips to allow for some movement and build confidence. Tape can be placed vertical or horizontal.

  3. Start with daytime taping: Before attempting at night, practice during waking hours to get used to how it feels and determine if you can breathe properly through your nose. 

  4. Consult with a Professional: Consider an airway assessment prior to taping. If you have underlying health conditions, such as allergies, asthma, deviated septum, nasal/ sinus blockages or severe sleep apnea, consult a medical professional before attempting mouth taping.

What’s next?

Mouth taping has been shown to support nasal breathing, improve digestion, decrease dry mouth, reduce snoring, improve oral health and more! If you're intrigued by the idea of better sleep, improved breathing, and enhanced overall well-being, mouth taping could be helpful.  When making any lifestyle change, listen to your body and make the best decisions for you.  If you would like to know more about the dangers of mouth breathing or sleep apnea, please visit

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