Search for “mouth breathing” on social media and you’ll find a tidal wave of content about the dire health consequences, including receding chin and gum disease. The solution, according to thousands of TikTok videos, is mouth taping — literally taping your lips together before you go to sleep each night to encourage nasal breathing. But according to Healthline, mouth taping isn’t just unproven — it’s potentially dangerous.
Mouth breathing does carry some potential health risks, including snoring, dry mouth, bad breath and increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea, according to CNN. Over time, mouth breathing can contribute to serious health issues like hypertension and heart problems.
While social media is full of mouth taping enthusiasts, there’s no clinical evidence to suggest that it works. In one small study, researchers found that when mouth breathers taped their mouths closed, they simply puffed air through the sides of their mouths instead as they slept.
According to Healthline, experts warn that mouth taping can obstruct breathing, make sleep apnea worse, and cause irritation and allergic reactions. It can actually disrupt sleep instead of improve it.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends that people with sleep difficulties should avoid unproven remedies and see their doctors to treat the underlying problems instead. While many people find relief with simple fixes like side sleeping or better bedtime routines, conditions like sleep apnea or deviated septums usually require further treatment.