TikTok viral trend has people ‘taping their mouths open’ before bed as doctors warn

The TikTok logo displayed on a phone screen and laptop can be seen in this illustration photo taken on August 10, 2022 in Krakow, Poland. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

medical professionals are raising eyebrows — and concerns — over a new viral TikTok trend known as “mouth taping.”

Some users on the video platform claim that sticking it on the mouth helps when people are searching a better night’s sleep.

However, one doctor told Fox News Digital it was “the most dangerous trend I’ve heard of in a while,” while others also expressed caution and concern.

The practice consists of people placing a small piece of tape over their lips to seal them at bedtime.


This forces all nighttime breathing through the nostrils.

Video Views from TikToks explaining how to make “mouth tape” are in the millions on the platform.

One account, Movewithjames, posted a video of the mouth taping less than a week ago – and to date it has been viewed about 2.8 million times.

Breathing through your nose naturally and whenever possible is recommended by health professionals – as long as it’s not forced.

– dr David Culpepper

“In general, it’s healthier to breathe through your nose than your mouth,” according to Healthline.com. “That’s because nasal breathing is more natural and helps your body use the air you breathe more effectively.”

Nose hairs help filter out foreign particles while humidifying and moisturizing the air you breathe.

Nasal breathing also produces nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels, which can aid in oxygen circulation throughout the body, the stated output.


File man sleeps peacefully. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

However, the outlet also reported that “mouth breathing is required in some cases. You may need to breathe through your mouth if you have: a stuffy nose, a deviated septum, or small nostrils.”

Medical experts say that lips should never be taped closed unless under the direct direction of a doctor (e.g. during surgery).

“This is one of the most dangerous trends I’ve heard of in a while, and I’m quite concerned that it’s being promoted as a ‘health’ trend,” said Dr. David Culpepper, a general practitioner from Lexington, Kentucky, told Fox News Digital this week.

“To put it very simply, intentionally blocking the airway while you sleep is a horrible idea,” he added.

In a TikTok search result for #mouthtaping, a video shares a disclaimer with the footage stating, “Participating in this activity could result in injury to you or others.”

Fox News Digital has reached out to TikTok for comment.


dr Noting that “millions of people suffer from health conditions that affect their breathing during sleep, like sleep apnea,” Culpepper said that forcibly taping the mouth shut could make sleep apnea worse — which could be fatal.


File Woman sound asleep with alarm clock. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

“Sleep apnea is associated with heart disease and early death,” he said.

“Also, if your nasal cavity is blocked up at night due to a cold or allergy,” Culpepper continued, “you could be choking from not getting enough air.”

He also stressed, “I would urge anyone considering mouth taping to reconsider — and if you’re experimenting with this dangerous trend, you should stop.”

dr Baljinder S. Sidhu, a pulmonologist and sleep specialist who co-owns the Pacific Coast Critical Care Group in Southern California, told Fox News Digital, “In general, nasal breathing is much more difficult to achieve during sleep than it is while awake. This is due to the effect of gravity in the supine or flat position, [plus the] relaxed muscle and tissue tone during sleep – all of which are generally exacerbated by our normal negative pressure breathing.

– DR. Baljinder S. Sidhu

He added: “A lot [people] suffer from nasal congestion from allergies due to bedroom triggers, including dust mites.”

“I would not recommend taping on the mouth as a solution to any medical problem,” he also said. “While we strive for nasal breathing in sleep medicine, it does so with different techniques/equipment for different people.”

He also said, “Some examples include chin straps for nasal CPAP users, oral devices for those with recessed/small jaws or large tongues, or even more creative devices like a tongue holding device.”

He explained that “recent treatments include treating the convex palate (high roof of the mouth) in children to try to prevent the negative effects on nasal breathing that this causes later in life.”

“Unfortunately,” he added, “once the bone has formed, it’s much more difficult to treat in adults.”

also dr Sidhu said: “Sticking it on the mouth is much more likely to worsen night-time breathing during sleep than to have a positive effect. If you are having problems with dry mouth or mouth breathing, I would recommend a visit to a sleep specialist or ENT to find out how best to treat it.”

In addition, Dr. Shiv Sudhakar, a physician in Northern California and a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told Fox News Digital, “Mouth breathing is associated with several medical problems, such as snoring or allergies.”

“Although there is a new trend online to tape the mouth to treat mouth breathing, it’s important to realize that the information on the treatment to date is only anecdotal, meaning more clinical trials are needed to confirm.” know if it is a safe procedure that will treat any health condition.”

He added, “Although some people may benefit from the technique, it can have unintended side effects, so it’s important to understand the potential risks and benefits before actually doing it yourself.”

“Always talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s something that might be right for you.”

Get the latest updates on this story at FOXNews.com.

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