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Training Yourself to stop Mouth Breathing?
Your chin strap was too tight. It should be loose enough to be comfortable except when chewing. Then you should find it uncomfortable.
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(02-14-2014, 05:08 AM)Sleepster Wrote: Your chin strap was too tight. It should be loose enough to be comfortable except when chewing. Then you should find it uncomfortable.

Thanks for the info I have been wondering how tight it should be. I apparently do a lot of things in my sleep but eating is not one of them.Bigwink

The chin strap that I have is adjusted out as far as it will go. That is the reason that I ordered a new one.

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(02-13-2014, 11:13 PM)PaytonA Wrote: I am blaming this all on mouth leakage because I do not know what else to blame it on. I have a chin strap that I tried again a few nights ago but woke up after 1.5 hours with my chin hurting, so I took it off. My leakage chart for that night was in the good area until I took the chin strap off. As a result, I have ordered a new chin strap that hopefully I can tolerate. If anyone has any other ideas, I would be happy to hear them.

Best Regards,


Yesterday I had the very enjoyable experience of visiting with my sleep clinic people. We discussed all these things.

First, in regard to the chin strap issues: I don't like the chin strap, but I use it. I'm thinking my body will get used to the idea of keeping my mouth shut at some point and I won't have to. However, it seems the chinstrap is much more tolerable and works best when applied gently. It should serve as a reminder to keep the mouth shut, not as a forceful lock. When I use it in that way, it works well. It seems rather natural to me that the lips can be slightly parted and breathing can still be accomplished through the nose effectively. It's only when we open our mouths wide we get ourselves into trouble. Just like we do in our awake times.

If it's too tight I get tooth aches, super ouchies in the area between the jaw and the right ear (I forgot what that gland is called), and I am most uncomfortable. But applied gently I get perhaps a slightly higher 95% leak ratio, but not a big thing, my AHI is still quite low so I'm fine with that. The other thing is I encased my chinstrap in an old cotton sock because the whatever it is fabric they use is not all that comfy.

As to the FFM issues, I would never have believed I could actually sleep well breathing only through my nose. But I guess there's something about 50lbs/sq in air blowing your socks off that just makes your nose work better. That's a good thing. It's not a good thing however when you have a bad cold or other issue that has you stopped up like a sewer drain in Chicago. So my sleep people gave me a FFM to bring home. I'm to use it a little to learn how, then use it for those times when my nose doesn't work. They also gave me a new nasal mask and a new hose in case the cats eat the ones I already have. I love my sleep people.

Lastly, I shared with them reports I printed out from Sleepyhead software. They were impressed that I was actively trying to help myself through this process. They kept my reports to share with their full staff and to encourage other patients to join us in the amazing ride.

Repeat after me: "My mask and I are one, my mask and I are one..."
How about "My chinstrap and I are------- well maybe that's going a little too far.

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There are lots of aspects here that make this issue very complicated.

My experience with a nasal mask has resulted in an AHI of < 1.0, but my mouth continues to open, evidenced by very dry mouth in AM. I do use tape over my mouth, and have found this to be somewhat effective. The basic problem I think is that, it is not so much that the mouth opens, but rather that the BACK of the throat opens, and chin straps or maybe even tape, do not basically address that issue. After all we can talk and breathe through clenched teeth.

The tongue on the roof routine seems to close the back of my throat, but the trick is to keep it there all night. Taping seems to help.

Two observations regarding the warnings about taping. First is power failure, but if I turn the power off I can still get air through the mask vents. Secondly, regurgitation. I recently sneezed while I was waiting to get to sleep. A big deep breath sneeze and it blew the tape across the bed.

So I'm not worried about tape - I don't like it, but I don't worry about it. (Other when my wife asks a question after I'm all taped down for the night.) My only issue is the very, very, dry mouth and regardless of AM mouthwash, it's not a desirable problem.

Several weeks ago I again tried a full face mask and although it was somewhat less comfortable, my AHI went from <1.0 to a range of 3-7. Same settings - different mask. Interestingly enough, it seems to me the the FFM put a certain pressure on my chin just below my lips. it seemed to make it easier to keep my tongue in place.

But I have since returned to a nasal mask and a piece of tape and my AHI is back <1.0.

I have an appointment with a new sleep lab in a few hours and one of my many questions is about fitting for a FFM.


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I use a chinstrap but still get some lip flutter so I lay a strip of Listerine breath strip between my moistened lips. This makes a seal that keeps the lips quiet for most of the night.
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I had an appointment with a new RT the other day and she showed me a "new" chinstrap. Rather than the mono-straps that I have previously found either useless and/or annoying, this one was like a C-Pap harness in a way. The main piece cupped the chin, went over the top of the head, and had two straps that went around the back of the head. The effect seemed to be to pull the jaw backwards which I think might keep the back of the mouth closed and prevent mouth breathing.

I've ordered one and will post the brand and the results once I try it.

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There's a lot of different styles out there. The one I currently am trying is based off the Ruby.
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That looks like the one! Does it work well and prevent dry mouth?

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I am a newbie to CPAP. I have only been on a machine for about 2 months. I knew right away that I needed a chin strap because I even tried one to quit snoring. The strap I tried first was so uncomfortable that it felt like TMJ. the problem is the strap that wraps behind the head tend to put pressure on the joint causing pain. Since I started CPAP, I use a cheap chin strap that tends to close my jaw straight up rather than back and up. That is a great help. I am a denture wearer so it is important to keep my jaws aligned because there is no teeth at night to do so when my mouth is closed. Air leakage through the mouth is still a problem even though my leakage is within "Tolerances". ANY cotton mouth is a problem. I find that sealing the tongue behind the lips has been the best remedy so far. With the chin strap adjusted lightly, my gums will generally hold my tongue in place. I know I am just at the beginning of the learning curve. I will continue to monitor this issue here because it is my greatest problem. I never knew one could feel so good after a GOOD nights sleep!
Remember - "If It Ain't Broke, DON"T Fix It!
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Quote:First off, I don't understand the logic as to why anyone would want to go through all the grief of wearing chin straps and/or tape on their mouth and then having to hold your tongue in a certain position (and to always face West) while you sleep or other extremes when the simple problem of breathing through the mouth is easily remedied with a properly fitted Full Face Mask.

I've owned exactly 1 FFM I've been using for over 4 1/2 years and I've never had a problem with it sealing against my face, so, exactly how would I benefit from trying to force myself to not open my mouth when I'm asleep? How much greater would my CPAP therapy be if it were being delivered through either a nasal mask or nasal pillows that I'm not already getting through my FFM?

Everyone is DIFFERENT!

I am a mouth breather and have a perfectly fitted FF mask where there is no leakage at all but I still open my mouth a teeny weeny bit, enough to have a dry mouth after 2 hours which is so dry it feels like cotton or paper, thereby waking me up.

I recently switched to a Nasal Mask which I notice, when I am laying down, the bottom part of it sits just above my upper lip and for some reason, I do not open my mouth at all while wearing it.
The few times I have tried opening it on purpose, I can't get used to the feeling of the air rushing into my nose as i am trying to breathe through my mouth and quickly feel a bit claustrophobic but since i don't open my mouth naturally, it doesn't happen and I sleep right through the nigh.

So one cannot say that one only has to get a proper fitting FF for everyone is different and in my case your method has proven not to work with me and in fact has made it worse.

I shall add that the only time I did try to open my mouth and then suffered the claustrophobia feeling was on the first night as I was just getting used to something new so I opened it once, felt this feeling of claustrophobia and then became panicky that I would fall asleep, open my mouther and not be able to breathe properly. That didnt prove to be the case. 2x now I have woken up half way through the night to discover i have taken my mask off. Somehow in my sleep Im actually unhooking the mask and taking it off. I only wake up because the air pressure is blowing into my hand and is quite noisy.
I believe the reason I have taken it off in my sleep is likely because i have become a bit stuffed up and in my sleep take it off although neither time have I found my mouth to be open when i have. SO i do think I have just become a bit stuffed up, thats all.
It is a bit amazing though, to think that i can actually unhook the mask in my sleep properly and take it off ;-)
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