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what to use to tape mouth shut

This area is for CPAP Mask and CPAP Machine Related Questions used in the treatment of Sleep Apnea.

what to use to tape mouth shut

Postby nate124 » Mon May 22, 2006 9:37 am

Hey guys,

I tried the chin strap, and that just doesnt work for me. What kind of tape do you use to tape your mouth shut?? I need some suggestions so I can give that a shot and see if it works!!! :) thanks!
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Postby Ridge Runner » Mon May 22, 2006 5:10 pm

Dear Nate,

You'll find two different schools of thought on taping one's mouth shut: (1) Just tape it enough to give you a gentle reminder if you open your mouth, and (2) Tape it entirely shut. I'm a member of the first school of thought, so keep that in mind when you read my answer.

I've used plastic medical tape. It's clear, with little perforations, and doesn't seem as heavy-duty or gummy as adhesive tape. My roll looks like a regular tape dispenser, not an adhesive tape dispenser. I take about a 1/2" x 1/2" square of it, and put it across my lips right in the middle. Can I breathe through my mouth with it on? Yes. Will it stop me from breathing through my mouth at night? Apparently yes. Can I remove it easily just by opening my mouth? No.

What this seems to do is serve as a reminder that you're supposed to keep your mouth shut. While you can breathe through your mouth if necessary (which keeps panic from setting in), this "reminder" works better than a chin strap, yet avoids taping the mouth completely.

Good luck!

- Ridge Runner
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Postby SlidellSand » Wed May 24, 2006 11:16 am

Hi Nate,

I tried the chin strap, but it didn't work for me. I tend to huff through my mouth, and I can do that easily with a chinstrap; so I tape it completely shut. I use Nexcare for sensitive skin. It comes in 3/4" wide rolls and I use about a 4" piece. I also put chapstick on my lips before I put the tape on so that it doesn't actually stick to my lips, but only to the area around my lips. You might have to use two pieces of tape if 3/4" isn't wide enough. I don't know if it comes in a wider roll. I've bought a tube of Fixodent, but I haven't tried it yet.

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Postby Gawain » Fri May 26, 2006 1:22 pm

I use the paper tape you can get in the first aid section of most drug stores. Comes in a roll like scotch tape. I use a 2 inch strip right in the middle of my lips. Works for me.
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Postby Linda B » Mon May 29, 2006 8:22 pm

I've been using Poligrip Strips. Yes, I said Poligrip!! Cut one strip in half, making two about 3/4 to 1 inch each. (My mouth is rather small. If you have a large mouth like Julia Roberts!!, you may need to use two whole strips.) Using a pair of tweezers to hold a corner, get the strip wet and then place on bottom lip on one side. I place mine starting close to the corner of my mouth. Repeat with other strip for other side of mouth. Close lips together and hold for about 10 - 20 seconds. You may need to kinda squeeze your lips together to get a good seal. I like this method because it leaves a small open area in the middle just big enough to insert a straw to get a drink of something if needed. The next morning, just open your mouth, peal off the tape and wash off any residual sticky stuff with a warm was rag.

I cannot take credit for this idea; I got it on another forum. I've been doing this for about two weeks and have had no problems with my mouth coming open or leaking from my mouth. There is no taste to the stuff, It is not messy, it comes off easily, not hard on the lips at all. The only problem -- it is kinda hard to talk!!! But I would imagine that to be true of tape as well.
Linda B. in Tennessee
There is power in positive thinking.
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Postby oldgearhead » Wed May 31, 2006 10:00 am

I use the 2" Durapore tape from Wallgreens, and chap-stik.
__Put some chapstik on the lips. (Keeps the tape from sticking on the lips
__Cut a 3.5" long piece of tape.
__Fold over about 1/8" of the tape edge to give you something to grip when removing.
__Turn your lips in slightly, hold your mouth shut, and apply the tape.

Removal - Splash lots warm water on the tape, and remove slowly, adding more water as you go.

I think the tape is very safe. You can actually expell air through it, and you can dislodge it, if necssary,
with your tongue....
RemStar Auto/C-Flex, 8-12 cm/H2O
ComfortLite 2 with mouth tape & UMFF with difficulty

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Postby wpinef » Wed May 31, 2006 11:16 am

Tried the Poligrip strips last night way too cool. No mouth breathing thats for sure. 1 strip centered on my lower lip.

Dave in RI
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Postby kba001 » Wed May 31, 2006 12:50 pm

Hi, I wouldn't suggest taping your mouth shut. It's just seems too dangerous. Risk of suffocation, etc, etc. If the chin strap didn't work, maybe try the full face mask. Yes, it's much larger but it would work.
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Postby oldgearhead » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:37 am

Kba - Have you tried a Full-Face mask? Do you want one?
It seems as soon as I get comfortable with my UMFF, something starts to itch.
Furthermore, I few hours later, the air leak noise wakes me up. Full-Face masks
are pure hell for me. Look for mine on Yahoo Auction soon.....
RemStar Auto/C-Flex, 8-12 cm/H2O
ComfortLite 2 with mouth tape & UMFF with difficulty

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Postby xpogi » Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:16 am

oldgearhead wrote:I use the 2" Durapore tape from Wallgreens, and chap-stik.

I am a mouth taper also. I use the Durapore tape but havn't tried the chap-stick trick but I will tonight. Sounds like a great idea! Been taping for over a month now and the only problem has been some discomfort immediately after removing the tape... Chap-stick should solve that problem.

Not worried about suffocation. I did a test with my mouth completely taped (In practice I only use a two inch strip in the middle) and found with the CPAP machine turned off I could still breath through my nose: Not real well and my O2 level would probably drop but I am certain I would wake if that happened. Of course machines and nasal masks may vary so try it yourself on your own machine just to be safe.
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Postby lynn321 » Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:08 pm

some suggest doubling the tape over at both ends to form 2 tabs so making it easier to pull the tape off if still partly asleep
the whole question of taping the mouth is controversial, I do it often, but I think it should be avoided if the person is drunk or sedated, or sufferers from gastric reflux
along with many others, a chinstrap doesnt work for me
also I sleep alone so nobody can check to see whether Im breathing thru my mouth
back when I was getting my first sleep study, it was nose only masks and the matter of mouth breathing wasnt mentioned :-(
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Hints on getting started with a CPAP

Postby lynn321 » Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:19 pm

if having much difficulty in getting used to a CPAP, the following may help, keeping in mind that in australia, its said that fully half sleep apnea sufferers abandon their CPAPs, this seems in line with the large number of as new second hand CPAPs advertiesd for sale

sit in a comfortable chair, wearing the mask and breathing thru it but without the CPAP connected, watch TV or read or do something to distract yourself
then some days later sleep wearing the mask and breathing thru it but without the CPAP, if its a nose only mask, tape your lips shut otherwise mouthbreathing often results. dont be surprised if you take the mask off in your sleep at first

eventually start using the CPAP when sitting in a comfortable chair but with the intention of staying awake, as before do something to distract yourself and occupy your mind, no harm done if you doze off and have a nap of course

dont worry how you look when wearing the mask, we arent about winning beauty contests :-D
tell friends and family that you need lots of encouragement from them

this was meant to be a new post,c an you alter it please
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Postby rested gal » Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:16 am

kba001 wrote:Hi, I wouldn't suggest taping your mouth shut. It's just seems too dangerous. Risk of suffocation, etc, etc. If the chin strap didn't work, maybe try the full face mask. Yes, it's much larger but it would work.

That's what I thought too, kba, when I first read four years ago about people using tape over their mouths. I slept very uncomfortably for over six months, wearing full face masks. I finally gave tape a try. It let me use much more comfortable (to me) nasal pillows masks. Been taping almost every night for over two years; sometimes using a DIY (Do It Yourself) homemade mouthguard instead.

We do what we gotta do to get good sleep. A comfy mask is a BIG part of that. Tape makes that possible for me.

Here are some interesting discussions about the pros and cons of taping, as well as other methods of controlling mouth air leaks:

Links to: Mouth leaks - Air Leaks - Tape - DIY Guard
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rested gal
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Re: what to use to tape mouth shut

Postby KmK » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:54 pm

Polygrip strips worked for me. I use nasal pillows. I started waking up with mouth/lips slightly open, lips blubbering as air escaped, snoring and gasping as pressure dropped, and wishing there was a way to stop that. I have a full beard, sensitive skin, and get claustrophobic, so taping was out of the question. One whole extra strength polygrip strip, centered between the lips did the trick! I did not need to seal all the way to mouth corners. Hold the strip with tweezers, moisten, center on lower lip, and seal. Cutting the strip in half and placing to join at the center (so it 'curves') was even better for comfort. It was comfortable, tasteless, stopped the air leakage, and came off without trauma the next morning. Many thanks to this site/forum for giving me the idea!!! For me, this simple idea solved a serious problem without anything more extreme like a full face mask, tape, surgery, etc...
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Re: what to use to tape mouth shut

Postby truckerdad57 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:56 pm

I am surprised no one posted this yet.


A rare but potential compliaction of using a CPAP is aerophygia. This is where air leaks past the epiglotis and inflates the stomach. This air either needs to come up or go down which is why aerophygia is often called the burps and farts.

If you vomit (which is common when the air comes up in a BIG burp) and have your mouth taped shut you run the real risk of breathing that vomit back into your lungs (aspirating). Aspiration of vomitus can and will cause pnuenomia and other not so nice complications.

There are other approaches to mouth breathing. Full face masks. Chin straps with elastic or velcro to allow for easy release if you feel like vomiting are available.

Often something as simple as increasing the humidication from your CPAP can solve mouth breathing. You open your mouth later in the night because your sinuses got dried out from dry CPAP air and are closing up with mucous created to address the dryness.

I do not mouth breathe so I am not speaking from personal experience. But in general you need to be sure you do not run the risk of aspirating vomitus with your mouth taped shut.
(just a truck driver with sleep apnea)
Co-coordinator Truckers for a Cause Chapter of A. W. A. K. E.
Do not substitute information from here for professional medical advise.
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