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Am I a “mouth breather?”

If you are someone who breaths through your mouth during sleep you are at risk of experiencing many more serious conditions or consequences that you probably are not aware of. Trying to figure out if you are a mouth breather only at night will often lead to failed results because you’re probably asleep.

Mouth Breathing is Learned

Consider how much your mouth is open throughout the day. If your mouth is open a great deal during the day you are more likely to be a mouth breather at night. It may sound far-fetched but everything we do, our thinking, daily schedule, eating habits and also our sleep habits are based on routines or patterns we’ve created. The position of our mouth during sleep will often follow the pattern it’s most accustomed to during the day.

If your mouth is open quite a bit during the day, it will be open at night.

Mouth Breathe While Sleeping

Mouth breathing limits the amount of oxygen saturation of your blood, can cause gingivitis and increases the likelihood of heart disease, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Look for these signs you breathe through your mouth at night:mouth breather

  • Dry mouth when you wake up
  • Clammy or sticky feeling in your mouth when you awake
  • Consistent bad breath
  • Cracked lips
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Your throat hurts or is sore in the early morning
  • Chronic allergies
  • Enlarged adenoids
  • You snore
  • If you drink alcohol before you sleep
  • Sleep apnea
  • Excessive weight gain

How to Stop Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing is a habit. There are a few ways to keep track to help break the habit. Remember, the more mouth breathing during the day usually signifies the same will occur while sleeping. Pay attention to the following activities on a regular basis:

  • Speech – when you speak do you give yourself time to breathe? Do you take time to pause and breathe through your nose? Or is all of the breathing through your mouth?
  • Eating and drinking – Do you keep your mouth open while chewing? Keeping your mouth closed will force you to breathe through your nose. Also, are you actually taking time to take a breath from your nose in between gulps of your favorite drink? Or are you holding your breath because your mouth is occupied? Slow down and learn to breathe at the appropriate time through your nose.
  • Exercising – When exercising, try and make it a habit to breathe from your nose. If you find yourself at a pace that forces you to mouth breathe, just slow it down a little in order to gain control of your breath flow through your nose.
  • Allergy Season – During allergy season, try your best to continue breathing through your nose no matter how stuffy you may become. If you continue breathing from your nose it will help keep that passage open. If you begin breathing from your mouth the nasal passages are more likely to become clogged and stuffy due to lack of use.

When we are born we breathe from our nose, not our mouth. It’s just the natural way to breath. However, the activities we become accustomed to during the day, experiences and circumstances we face can and often cause us to breathe through our mouth. There is no way that you will be able to not breathe from your mouth 100% of the time but in instances such as the few mentioned above, we can be aware of when it is not needed. These simple steps will help alleviate the amount of mouth breathing occurrences during sleep.

The Best CPAP Mask for Mouth Breathers

If you breathe through your mouth and have sleep apnea, some CPAP masks won’t be effective. A nasal CPAP mask delivers pressurized air directly into your nose, but if you don’t breathe through your nose, your upper airway will still collapse. A full face CPAP mask or hybrid mask covers your mouth and nose to make sure you will receive the life-saving benefits of CPAP therapy. 

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