If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, which you should have been, you’ll have no doubt come across our introduction to the surprisingly common problem of overnight mouth-breathing. Not to mention, an overview of just how problematic it has the potential to be.
In some instances, all the advanced oral hygiene in the world won’t stop a case of overnight mouth-breathing in its tracks. Which means that even when armed with the best water flosser money can buy and a cutting-edge Bluetooth electric toothbrush, your oral health and hygiene continue to suffer.
Which is why for the second half of our two-part post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most effective methods for combating overnight mouth-breathing. Once again, it is of critical importance that you first speak with your dentist or general health professional, in order to rule out any underlying causes or conditions. Not to mention, to ensure that the DIY treatment you choose really is appropriate for you.
Once you’ve been given the green light, try your hand with the following simple yet effective remedies for overnight mouth-breathing and you may be surprised just how effective they can be:
1. Mouth Taping
First up comes what can only be described as a rather bizarre yet uniquely effective solution to many cases of mouth-breathing. Unusual and severe as it may sound, many people find that overnight mouth-breathing can be brought under control by quite literally taking their mouths shut. Before reaching for the sticky tape however, there are a couple of important things to take into account.
The first of which being that this is an option that should only ever be tried under advisement. In addition, you need to ensure that the tape you use is indeed designed specifically for these kinds of purposes. The last thing you want to do is make yourself sick or cause serious damage to your skin by using toxic or dangerous tape. And of course, if the problem is the result of nasal congestion or breathing difficulties of any kind, mouth taping should not be attempted under any circumstances. Nor should it be used if you are ill, have recently consumed alcohol or suffer from any kind of respiratory problems whatsoever.
Still, in other everyday cases it really can work a treat.
2. Train Yourself To Breathe Through The Nose
Believe it or not, the solution can sometimes be as simple as training yourself to breathe through your nose. While there are many things the brain takes care of instinctively without our input, this doesn’t mean that we cannot influence the way it gets the job done. In this particular instance, simply by forcing yourself to breathe through your nose throughout the day on a daily basis, you will fall into the habit of breathing through your nose naturally. Which in turn means that when you fall asleep, it is more likely that your brain will continue the habit and you will breathe through your nose accordingly.
Even if it doesn’t work, you will at least benefit from breathing through your nose during the day. As it tends to be the kind of thing you’re likely to forget about pretty quickly, sticky notes around the home and even at the office can help remind you to use your nose.
3. Elevate Your Head While Sleeping
In many instances, various sleep issues including overnight mouth-breathing can be brought under control by simply elevating the head slightly while sleeping. Depending on the cause of the problem, the fact that larger quantities of blood make their way to the nasal passages while laying down can exacerbate congestion and breathing issues significantly. Finding out if this is the case can be relatively simple – note whether your own problem with nasal congestion becomes more severe when you lay down than when you are standing up. If you only ever seen to encounter problems while sleeping, this could be the reason.
In which case, you could try adjusting your bed with additional pillows, so as to sleep with your head in an elevated position. Or better yet, invest in an adjustable mattress to ensure that your head remains in an elevated position throughout the night. In any case, experts generally recommend sleeping with the head in an elevated position anyway. Along with assisting with the prevention of nasal congestion, doing so can also help reduce problems associated with acid reflux and can even benefit heart health.
4. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
As mentioned previously, overnight mouth-breathing can be caused (or at least exacerbated) by high levels of stress and anxiety. Should this be the case, it should be relatively simple to figure out what you need to do to address the issue. That being – focus on reducing your everyday stress and anxiety levels.
Now, depending on what it is that is causing the stress and anxiety in the first place, this might be easier said than done. For those who suffer from chronic anxiety and the kind of stress that just doesn’t go away, professional advice may be required. By contrast, others may simply find that by engaging in relaxation activities and forcing themselves to unwind before going to bed, the problem brings itself under control relatively easily. And even if it doesn’t, chances are you’ll still get a much better night’s sleep!
5. Get Healthy
Last but not least, it’s worth bearing in mind that the healthier you are in general, the less likely you are to suffer from problems like these. Which may come across as a little vague to say the least, but is also true. From dietary choices to regular exercise to bringing allergies under control and so on, everything about your health from top to toe can and will make a difference to the quality of the sleep you get. Not to mention, maintaining a healthy weight – overweight and obese individuals being significantly more likely to encounter overnight breathing issues.
So just to round things off with that all-important point once again – never overlook or ignore a case of overnight mouth-breathing. Given the fact that there’s most probably a way of bringing it under control, why continue to suffer in silence?
Not that overnight mouth-breathing is typically associated with silent nights, but still…you get the point!