Are allergies, asthma, or nasal congestion causing you to breathe through your mouth at night? If you’re waking up with a dry mouth or feeling tired from ineffective therapy, mouth breathing at night may be the culprit. If you are breathing from your mouth throughout the night, you may be experiencing pressure loss, which is like sleeping with a hole in your mask.
Do you think you fall into the category of CPAP mouth breathers? Then, you may not be experiencing the most from your CPAP therapy since you’re not getting the airflow that keeps your airways open all night long.
Let’s look at some of the health implications of CPAP mouth breathing and what you can do to stop pressure loss from mouth breathing in its tracks, allowing you to enjoy the full benefits of your sleep apnea therapy once again.
The Health Risks of CPAP Mouth Breathing
Being a CPAP mouth breather and experiencing pressure loss can cause a range of health concerns within your mouth. Halitosis or bad breath, periodontal disease or gum disease, throat and ear infections, inflamed gums, cavities, and tooth decay are caused by CPAP dry mouth, which reduces your saliva’s ability to remove bacteria from your mouth.
Biologically, breathing from your nose serves as your body’s natural way to filter out germs and bacteria. However, when you breathe from your mouth, there is no barrier to keep the bad bacteria out.
Mouth breathing can also lead to morning headaches, brain fog, fatigue, colds, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and heart disease. Breathing from your mouth depletes your carbon dioxide levels, decreases your blood circulation, and slows your brain and reflexes.
Breathing from your mouth while using your CPAP device can worsen these symptoms since you are not receiving your full threapy benefits.
Causes of CPAP Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing at night can be a result of allergies, asthma, or chronic colds. CPAP mouth breathing can be caused by blockages in your nasal passage, including a deviated nasal septum, sinus polyps, or birth abnormalities.
You may be experiencing CPAP mouth breathing if you have enlarged tonsils and adenoids or could be because of your jaw or nose size and shape.
How to Know if You Are CPAP Mouth Breathing at Night
If you are questioning whether you are breathing from your mouth at night, there are a few clear signs. If you wake up hoarse from snoring, with a dry mouth or bad breath, dark circles under your eyes, or are experiencing chronic fatigue, then you may be breathing from your mouth while using your CPAP equipment throughout the night.
The Leading CPAP Options for Mouth Breathers
If you are a CPAP mouth breather and want to get the most out of your sleep apnea therapy, try out these solutions based on the one that works the best for your lifestyle.
Keep Your Sinuses Clear
First, test to see if your sinuses are congested by taking a breath in through your nose. If you feel any resistance while inhaling or exhaling, then talk to your doctor about blockages in your nasal passages.
To stop CPAP mouth breathing in its tracks, try keeping your nasal sinuses clear. Try to combat your congestion by talking to your doctor about using nasal sprays, a neti pot, essential oils, nasal rinses, or about incorporating a bacteria filter.
Your ENT doctor may suggest surgery if a structural anomaly exists that is making nose breathing more difficult.
The bottom line? If your nose is blocked, you’ll be more likely to breathe through your mouth, so talk with your doctor to see if an over-the-counter solution or surgery would be the best option for you.
The Best CPAP Mask for Mouth Breathers
Your best CPAP mask option for mouth breathing is a full face CPAP mask. Full face masks seal around your mouth and your nose, ensuring that if your mouth opens at night, your machine will still be able to maintain your necessary air pressure. Full face masks minimize the chances of mask leaks. If you’re experiencing a decrease in pressure or mask leaks, then you are not getting the most out of your sleep apnea therapy. When you do experiece your full CPAP therapy benefits, you will be more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and more productive throughout the day.
Can CPAP Mouth Breathers Use a Nasal or Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask?
If you’re a CPAP mouth breather and want to use a nasal or nasal pillow CPAP mask, then incorporate a chinstrap into your sleep apnea routine. Chinstraps are worn on your chin and jaw and around the top of your head, keeping your mouth comfortably closed. Using a chinstrap with your nasal or nasal pillow CPAP mask can help prevent pressure loss as well as dry mouth and throat to give you back the quality sleep you deserve.
If you’re looking for a chinstrap alternative, try the SomniFix Mouth Sleep Strips. The SomniFix Strips seal over your mouth to keep it closed while you sleep. The SomniFix Strips help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer by promoting nose breathing, triggering your relaxation response. By breathing through your nose, your nitric oxide production increases to boost your immunity and prevent bacteria in the air from entering your body. The strips are easy to apply and remove and make for the perfect chinstrap alternative.
By putting mouth breathing to bed and prompting nasal breathing, you will decrease your dry mouth, bad breath, cavities, and colds. Try incorporating a full face CPAP mask, chinstraps, or a chinstrap alternative into your nighttime routine to achieve the restful sleep you deserve.
Taylor has seen sleep apnea treatment first-hand and has learned the ins and outs through formal training in CPAP machines, masks, and equipment. She strives to make learning about sleep apnea and sleep apnea therapies a breeze. Interested in sharing your story or have a topic you’d like CPAP.com to investigate? Contact us!