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Health professionals are raising eyebrows – and concerns – over a new viral TikTok trend known as “mouth taping”.
Some users of the video-sharing platform claim that mouth recording helps if people search a better night’s sleep.
However, one doctor told Fox News Digital it was “the most dangerous trend I’ve heard of in some time”, while others also expressed caution and concern.
The practice involves people putting a small piece of tape over their lips to seal them at bedtime.
This forces all nighttime breathing to take place through the nostrils.
TikToks Video Views who explain how to make “mouth tape” are counted in the millions on the platform.
One account, ‘Movewithjames’, posted a mouth scotch video less than a week ago – and to date it has garnered some 2.8 million views.
Breathing through your nose when possible and natural is recommended by health experts – as long as it’s not forced.
“If you experience this dangerous tendency, you should stop.”
“In general, it’s healthier to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth,” according to Healthline.com. “That’s because nasal breathing is more natural and helps your body use the air you inhale efficiently.”
Nose hairs help filter out foreign particles while moistening and hydrating inspired air.
Nose breathing also produces nitric oxide, which helps widen blood vessels, which can promote the flow of oxygen throughout the body, the outlet says.
However, the outlet also reported that in “some cases, mouth breathing is necessary. You may need to breathe through your mouth if you have: nasal congestion, a deviated septum, or small nostrils.”
Medical experts say that labia should never be forcibly taped shut except under the direct direction of a doctor (such as during surgery).
Force-closing the mouth with tape could worsen sleep apnea, which could be fatal, a doctor noted.
“This is one of the most dangerous trends I’ve heard of in some time, and I’m very concerned that it’s being portrayed as a ‘healthy’ trend,” said Dr. David Culpepper, a general practitioner based in Lexington, Kentucky, told Fox News Digital this week.
“To put it simply, intentionally obstructing your airways during sleep is a terrible idea,” he added.
In a TikTok search result for #mouthtaping, a video shares a disclaimer with the footage that reads, “Participating in this activity could hurt you or others.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to TikTok for comment.
Noting that “millions of people suffer from health conditions that affect their breathing during sleep, such as sleep apnea,” Dr. Culpepper said force closing the mouth could make sleep apnea worse. , which could be fatal.
“Sleep apnea is associated with heart disease and untimely death,” he said.
“Also, if your nasal cavity is clogged overnight from a cold or allergies,” Culpepper continued, “you could suffocate from lack of air.”
He also pointed out: “I urge anyone considering getting their mouth taped to reconsider – and if you are experiencing this dangerous trend, you should stop.”
Dr. Baljinder S. Sidhu, pulmonologist and sleep specialist, co-owner of the Pacific Coast Critical Care Group in Southern California, told Fox News Digital, “Generally speaking, nasal breathing is much more difficult to achieve. during sleep than the waking state. the effects of gravity when lying down or flat, [plus the] relaxed muscle and tissue tone during sleep – which are usually aggravated by our normal negative pressure breathing.”
“I wouldn’t recommend mouth tape as a solution to a medical problem.”
I added: “Many [people] suffer from nasal congestion due to allergies due to bedroom triggers, including house dust mites.”
“I wouldn’t recommend mouth tape as a solution to a medical problem,” he also said. “In sleep medicine, we strive for nasal breathing, but it’s done using different techniques/devices for different people.”
He also said: “Some examples include chin rests for nasal CPAP users, oral devices for those with small recessed jaws or large tongues, or even more creative devices such as a tongue retainer. .”
He explained that “newer treatments include treating the arched palate (high covered mouth) in children, to try to prevent the negative effects on nasal breathing that this causes later in life.”
“Unfortunately,” he added, “once bone has formed, it’s much more difficult to treat in adults.”
Also says Dr. Sidhu, “Mouth taping is much more likely to worsen nighttime breathing during sleep than to have a positive impact. If you are having problems with dry mouth or mouth breathing, I would would recommend seeing a sleep specialist or ENT and determining how best to treat it.”
Additionally, Dr. Shiv Sudhakar, a Northern California physician and member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, shared with Fox News Digital, “Mouth breathing is associated with several medical conditions like snoring or allergies.”
“While there is a new trend online of bandaging the mouth to treat mouth breathing, it is important to know that the treatment information so far is only anecdotal, which means that more Clinical studies are needed to know if this is a safe procedure that treats any health condition.”
He added: “While some people may benefit from the technique, it can cause unintended side effects, so it’s important to know the potential risks and benefits before doing it yourself.”
“Always talk to your healthcare provider first to make sure this is something that might be right for you.”