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Air building up in your mouth: where does it go if you tape your mouth shut?
RE: Air building up in your mouth: where does it go if you tape your mouth shut?
I've been looking into this issue, and I want to share some updates on it.  

I looked up past threads on this issue and the wiki on this, and the general idea is that if you adhere the tongue to the upper mouth (interior roof) behind the upper teeth, causing a seal, it would block any air to get into the mouth.  Since, that is the path of air entry.

The trick is getting in  the habit of keep the tongue up there.  So, even when not sleeping, keeping the tongue in that spot will make a habit of it.  Also, when trying to fall asleep to be mindful to keep the tongue there.  

This actually worked for me (so far, crossing my fingers it's consistent), and it seems like as long as you are constantly mindful in keeping the tongue there throughout the night, I don't believe air will get into the mouth.  The tongue is cutting off the air passage to the mouth.  I think why the air gets trapped inside the mouth is, the tongue breaks this seal every so often and air gets in there.  And more air pressure that builds up, it causes chipmunk cheeks, etc.  

Like the poster above said, you should be able to push that air back, but should seal the mouth from air with the tongue after.  

I incorrectly thought that the air actually comes through from the side of the tongue through the cheeks area, but that seems to be false.  Based on how this works, that's not possible.  

So, tape really doesn't work for me.  Tape is necessary if you tend to open the mouth, but I don't.  The pressure from the trapped air inside the mouth sometimes force the lips open to let air out.  In order to prevent this, the tongue method seems to be the well known trick that works.

Now I can get some REM sleep.   Bed
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RE: Air building up in your mouth: where does it go if you tape your mouth shut?
Thank, all.  This was a very useful thread.

I am working hard to learn the tongue seal.  I am getting better with it but it does disappear at many points during sleep.  For now, I'm accepting the necessity of tape (to keep the system's pressure by minimizing leaks) and seeing if I can get accustomed to the blowfish cheeks.   I think that these events are waking me up less and less, although it's hard to be sure.   I am getting more comfortable with just opening up a bit at the back of the throat and letting the air that has built up in my mouth exit at the back.  It goes somewhere and, surprisingly, it doesn't always go into the GI tract.

Early in my apnea treatment,  I had no idea about the tongue lock and was waking myself up when the air built up in my mouth and fluttered out of my lips and made a phlat-phlat-phlat noise.   This was happening hundreds of times a night.  I actually put my cell phone on "record" and used that to figure out how many episodes I was having in a given night.    Dozens!  And often in bursts -- so, maybe a dozen of them separated by a couple of seconds.   Very disruptive of sleep.   I cut down on the noise problem by wearing a headband over my mouth (a trick that several folks on the Board have talked about).  I still expelled the air through my mouth but the cotton headband muffled the noise and lessened the lip flapping.  I was still leaking air, though, and that wasn't good.  Hence, the taping.   I've also modified my settings and don't have as many events as I did when I was first starting treatment.

I believe that side-sleeping lessens these the number of these  "air bubble"/chipmunk cheek/blowfish incidents, so I suspect that there's some positional issue involved in at least some of these episodes.  I wear a cervical collar but am looking for one that's a bit higher.  I sleep on my back and, even with a flat pillow and a small cervical roll, I have a feeling that I sometimes drift into a chin tuck.

I'm still thinking about that FFM, though.   I don't want to breathe though my mouth but it would be awfully nice to be able to vent the occasional bubble of air-in-the-mouth out through my lips.    And it might be nice to go to sleep without tape and a chin strap.   So many accessories!

Apnea treatment is a game of inches, right?   And a puzzle with lots of pieces -- many of them the same color.   

Much appreciation to all who share their insights.
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RE: Air building up in your mouth: where does it go if you tape your mouth shut?
Even though I am not a mouth breather, I just went to FFM straight away, since I couldn't be bothered to slowly adapt to tongue up there... Never looked back.

Well, not entirely true... once in a while I try out my dreamwear nasal mask... and each time, it is totally horrible.
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RE: Air building up in your mouth: where does it go if you tape your mouth shut?
what do you consider to be a high pressure level? Mine is set at 16 and it is a problem for me.. get big mask leaks at the higher pressures.

Resmed Airsense 11/Resmed airfit F30i mask, MyAir software, OSCAR for data analysis
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