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[Equipment] Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
When I last attempted to use my CPAP machine, I was seeing a PA in a sleep doctor's office. I was getting aerophagia with the FFM, so I went to nasal pillows to see if that would help with the aerophagia.

My recollection is she gave me clear instructions not to mouth tape. I don't know if I asked why.

I have a lot of anxiety and I'm afraid to try mouth tape without a medical professional recommending it. Do sleep doctors actually suggest mouth taping in conjunction with a nasal mask? 

Also, second question: Is a nasal mask guaranteed to prevent aerophagia?

My AHI is over 30 and I know I need to deal with this, but it's been incredibly frustrating.
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
The type of tape is what matters. Of course you would not use duct tape or reinforced tape. You should be able to open your mouth if you tried. The tape is to keep the mouth from dropping open when asleep  NOT to keep it closed if you try to open it.
Apnea (80-100%) 10 seconds, Hypopnea (50-80%) 10 seconds, Flow Limits (0-50%) not timed  Cervical Collar - Dealing w DME - Chart Organizing
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
The reason you were advised not to tape your mouth is undoubtedly from a concern that, if there were a power outage, your nose and mouth would both be "plugged" and you might suffocate. However, that would never happen. First, even in sleep you would simply remove your nasal pillows, which is easy. Or, as Stacey says, you would force open your lips. In any case you would wake up and perform both of these actions well before you suffocated.

If you have anxiety, you may find taping your mouth to feel claustrophobic at first. I certainly did, but became used to it quickly.
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
^Exactly what the above poster stated.

One of the reasons that medical professionals might avoid suggesting the use of mouth tape may be for liability reasons.  If someone actually did use duct tape (or something more permanent), or perhaps accidentally sealed both areas during the night, the legal response and liability would be significant.

Almost everyone would use a type of tape where it wouldn't be too difficult for the mouth/jaw to break the seal adhesion.  The body has a strong self-defense mechanism to stay alive, especially when assisted by the body's adrenalin response.

At one time, I had a brief visit with one of the best sleep docs in the country.  The subject of tape came up and he mentioned that many of his patients use it.  He asked me about my specific brand/style, which he seemed to be tracking.  Never did he suggest that it might be a bad thing.  

(NOTE:  That's only one doctor's opinion and my own opinion.)
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
We can only speculate as to the reason for the advice.  My initial coach suggested taping as one of two or three possible remedies to my mouth breathing.  My father's coach, whom we saw several months later, disapproved, but for a specific reason: aging skin tears easily, on some very easily, on some too easily.  Taping increases the chances of poorly placed skin tears when tape is removed.

Note that, as stated previously, there's tape and there's tape.  There are at least two commonly recommended tapes, Somnifix and 3M Corp's NexCare 'water resistant' white tape.

Thirdly, it would be the rare person who DOES NOT have some trepidation over taping one's mouth closed.  However, sleep is very important, and one can adapt to most anything if the need is urgent and great.  Happened to me.

I must ethically admit that I have awakened three times in three years quickly clawing at my mouth because of tape.  In each instance, my nostrils had both swollen shut.  Each time, it was a matter of minutes before normal waking time.  I have no idea why I have that experience, but it seems to be consistent, and always very late in my sleep.

In order to allay my anxiety, I fashion a small folded-over tab at one end of the length applied over my lips.  Taking hold of it is quick and efficient.  It will work for you as well.

Tearing that application off your lips in a panic is going to result in skin tears if you don't find a tape that comes off reasonably easily.  Some surgical tapes available over the counter are almost dangerous in my estimation.  A tan-coloured one, also by 3M, took me three minutes to remove because its adhesive was so very aggressive. 


My recommendation to you is to conduct short trials, even during an afternoon nap, or while reading in bed.  Get used to the feel, and get used to falling asleep that way.  In time, it will be nothing at all.  I have been doing this, fret-free, for just over three years.  I started on Night #2 because Night #1 was an unmitigated disaster.
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?

I have been using Somnifix mouth tapes for about a week now with really good results.  A couple of weeks ago I really suffered from aerophagia that has been resolved with this action.  It is kind of creepy to tape your mouth shut, but the little tapes have a vent hole in the middle which makes me feel better.  The suggestion here to fold a bit of the tape over at the end to allow for easy removal is a good one.  I bought these out of pocket, but will try to find out if Kaiser will cover 80% of the cost; their durable medical equipment provider is quite strict about what they will cover on what time schedule.  I needed a spreadsheet to remember when to order!

Good luck!
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
I have been taping my mouth since I started CPAP therapy in November 2020. It has been very helpful in stopping mouth leaks and I have had no problems at all with it.

I suggest you start with Azazar mouth tape. It is in the shape of a X that goes across the middle of your mouth, so it doesn't cover your entire mouth and therefore feels less confining. It is designed as mouth tape, so it has gentle adhesive that will not irritate or damage your lips or skin. (This is important to me, as I am allergic to some adhesives and can only use certain brands of bandaids without getting a rash!)

After a few months, as I relaxed into using the CPAP, I found that I was getting more mouth leaks. So I switched to Somnifix mouth tape. It covers the entire mouth. It does have a small mesh vent in the center, so you can release air or breathe in through your mouth if you need to. It is also designed as mouth tape with gentle adhesive that does not irritate or damage your lips. The "ends" of the Somnifix do not have adhesive, so they can be handled and removed easily. I use these every night and recommend them highly!
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
"Is a nasal mask guaranteed to prevent aerophagia?"

No. I use a nasal pillow and sometimes have trouble with aerophagia.

I used to tape my mouth. I used Walmart medical tape. I verified that I could open my mouth if I wanted to. I found that if my mouth filled with air, I would swallow it if I was taped, but open my mouth and expel it if I was not taped. I might have more trouble with this because my palate has been trimmed.

My cervical collar helps to keep my mouth shut. I also try to keep my tung on the roof of my mouth.
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
I started cpap therapy with a full face mask because I was a mouth breather.  That bad habit caused a lot if frustration with high leakage.  A chin strap drove me crazy.  Then I tried a nasal pillows mask with mouth tape.  Not a giant strip off of a duct tape roll.  Just a tiny piece placed vertically across my lips.  Kind of like a toothbrush moustache.  It took 3-4 months but for over 18 months I never use tape and never wake up. Leakage is a thing of the past.  An old dog can learn new tricks.
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RE: Sleep Professional said no mouth tape?
Have been using the Azazar mouth tape for about 2 months as it has been the one that works well (very cost effective too). The adhesive is gentle and upon removal there is no tape residue on upper and lower lip region. I tried the 3M paper tape and it was a disaster. Lip bled from a minor tear and major skin irritation above and below the lip.
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