Is Mouth Taping a Teeth Grinding Solution?

Is Mouth Taping a Teeth Grinding Solution?

The Brux Doc The Brux Doc
5 minute read

In the last few years, mouth taping has come under discussion in a lot of places. Maybe you’ve heard about it on social media or a sleep blog, or maybe this is your first time encountering the concept. If so, the quick explanation is that mouth taping is a way of dealing with many sleeping and breathing-while-sleeping issues.

Sleep issues affect a lot of people, and everything from mild snoring to severe teeth grinding or sleep apnea can hurt your quality of sleep at night—and thereby your health, productivity, and overall well-being. So, any way of improving these conditions can be useful to try.

Though it may surprise you, mouth taping can be effective at addressing some of these issues. So, it might be worth trying. However, there are many things to keep in mind and some precautions to take. And it is important to remember that there have been no serious clinical trials that prove this method effective. So, read on to learn more before you try it.

What is mouth taping?

“Mouth taping” means the practice of actually taping your mouth shut while you sleep. Doing this forces you to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth (or your nose and mouth together).

Breathing through your nose has many benefits. You add more moisture to the air coming into your body, filter out more particles from the air, thanks to your nose hairs, reduce your chances of snoring, and produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, which is released from your nose when you breathe through it, works as a vasodilator, increasing the circulation of oxygen through your body.

Meanwhile, breathing through your mouth will increase your chances of snoring because having your mouth open can easily affect the positioning of your airway. The more closed the airway, the more intense the snoring will likely be. You also run a risk of experiencing pauses in your breathing (known as “apneas,” which gives us the term in sleep apnea).

If you avoid breathing through your mouth, you can also avoid getting dry mouth as you sleep, maintaining better saliva levels and improving your oral health. You might even notice less pungency in your morning breath.

However, most people can’t just decide to breathe only through their noses at night and get their sleeping bodies to obey their wishes. So, this is where mouth taping comes in. Some people use surgical or medical tape, but there are also products available specifically for mouth taping.

Is mouth taping dangerous?

Mouth taping during sleep is not for everyone, nor is it for every night. There are times when your body must get air through your mouth, such as when you are congested from a cold or from allergies. Therefore, if you are currently experiencing any difficulty breathing through your nose, you should not tape up your body’s other way of getting oxygen.

Some people may also have irritation around their lips from using tape, especially anyone with facial hair. And for some, mouth taping can increase a sense of anxiety, which will make it harder to sleep deeply. So, if you find you experience physical or emotional irritation from the process, then mouth taping is not for you.

Additionally, mouth taping should not be practiced on or by children or people who have sleep apnea. While mouth taping is often used to address snoring, there can be better ways to treat sleep apnea, which is more serious than simple snoring. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, seek out a professional diagnosis so that you can find the best solution for you. In fact, it is always good to discuss mouth taping with a doctor before you try it.

Can mouth taping help with teeth grinding?

Most anecdotal information on the effectiveness of mouth taping focuses on its improvement of snoring. However snoring disrupts the sleep cycle, so snoring can impact your ability to get deep sleep. Less time spent in the later stages of deep sleep can increase your chances of teeth grinding because teeth grinding usually occurs in the early sleep stages.

Therefore, anything that improves your overall sleep may also improve your teeth grinding by decreasing frequency. So, there is some value to trying mouth taping. That said, it is no replacement for getting a night guard if you know you grind your teeth.

A night guard is the only way to cushion and shield your teeth against the damaging effects of grinding, including wear and tear, chipped teeth, cracked teeth, inflamed gums, gum disease, and loose teeth. Because you can improve your teeth grinding habit but you can rarely cure it completely, it is always safest to wear a night guard while you sleep. Doing so will save you a lot of dental bills over your lifetime.  For affordable custom night guards, visit TeethNightGuard.

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