Home / My Blog / SleepQ+ Lip Gel and Mouth Breathing

For a long time, I’ve been advising many of my patients to tape their mouths closed at night. This might sound like a strange thing for a health professional to recommend but it’s a surprisingly effective part of my myofunctional therapy treatment.

After all, the main goal of my therapy is to ensure that my patients breathe through their nose, and that means at night as well. I’ve found a great new product that’s changing the way my patients deal with nighttime mouth breathing.

Is All Mouth Breathing Bad?

As I’ve said before on this site, it’s natural to breathe through your mouth at certain times – when you’re lifting a heavy load, or exercising for example. But habitually breathing through your mouth can contribute to a wide range of health problems.

A mouth breathing habit starts when we can’t get enough air through the nose, so the mouth takes over. This often occurs when we’re young. Mouth breathing can start when a child gets a bad cold, or experiences chronic nasal congestion caused by an allergy. This forces them to breathe through the mouth out of sheer necessity, and if this goes on for long enough, it can become a life-long habit.

Like all habits, mouth breathing can be difficult to change without help. The myofunctional exercises I teach my patients are designed to stop a mouth breathing habit. But something I always point out is that if you breathe through your mouth during the day, you’ll definitely breathe through your mouth at night.

mouth breathing at night

Breathing through your mouth at night isn’t healthy at all

 

Mouth Breathing At Night Isn’t Good For You

Our bodies are designed for nasal breathing, which is why breathing through the mouth while sleeping carries its own share of health concerns:

  1. Mouth breathing is a major cause of snoring, which is a risk factor for sleep apnea and other sleep-related problems and conditions.
  1. It can also cause a dry mouth, bad breath, and even dental decay and gum problems because research has shown that breathing through the mouth is fundamentally detrimental to oral health.
  1. Air that is inhaled via the nose is purified of potentially harmful substances such as microbes or pollutants. The mucus that lines our nasal passages filters them out, and this lining also warms and moisturizes the air. Without this filtration system in play, nasal congestion and sinus pain or infections can result.
  1. Breathing through the mouth also reduces the oxygen absorption capacity of the lungs. Small amounts of nitric oxide are produced in the nasal and sinus passages only during nasal breathing, and nitric oxide increases the lung’s overall oxygen absorption capacity. This is a big deal because it’s related to blood oxygen, carbon dioxide and pH levels, as well as lung volume, heart efficiency and overall hydration.

The Research Agrees That Nighttime Mouth Breathing Is Bad

Research studies consistently show a link between mouth breathing and disturbed sleep.

For example, a 2010 study stated: “Open-mouth breathing during sleep is a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea and is associated with increased disease severity and upper airway collapsibility.

The Center for Research Disorders in Cincinnati, Ohio noted that obstructive sleep apnea, sleep fragmentation, and disturbed sleep often result from nasal obstruction. The paper said: “Since breathing through the nose appears to be the preferred route during sleep, nasal obstruction frequently leads to nocturnal mouth breathing, snoring, and ultimately to obstructive sleep apnea.

Children aren’t immune to the problems associated with mouth breathing during sleep

A study of 1,030 children aged from 12 to 17 years looking at the risk factors of habitual snoring and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing stated: “Habitual snorers had significantly more nighttime symptoms including observed apneas, difficulty breathing, restless sleep and mouth breathing during sleep compared to occasional and non-snorers.”

Another paper covering data from 248 medical charts of mouth-breathing children found that 58% of the children were snorers and 42% had obstructive sleep apnea.

It’s More Common Than You Might Think

There’s some interesting information showing that a high percentage of people breathe through their mouths at night.

A 2015 survey of 1,001 adult Americans showed that 61 percent of the respondents identified themselves as mouth breathers. The most common signs of mouth breathing reported by survey participants were:

  1. Being awoken by nighttime nasal congestion (75 percent)
  2. Waking up with a dry mouth (61 percent)
  3. Snoring (37 percent)

What Are The Signs Of Mouth Breathing At Night?

One of the easiest ways to find out if you breathe through your mouth at night is simply to ask.

Anyone who’s around you while you sleep will probably be able to tell you because this kind of breathing can be noisy. Snoring isn’t the only obvious sign – sufferers will sometimes gasp, grunt, snort and wake up often. This disturbed sleep can lead to feelings of fatigue, especially if the mouth breathing persists for more than a few days.

Another major sign is waking up with a dry mouth or a dry and itchy throat. This can happen during the night or it may only be very noticeable in the morning. Breathing through your mouth during the night will dry out the oral tissues. This can lead to all the oral-related symptoms mentioned earlier in this article.

There’s also a strong connection between mouth breathing, nasal congestion and sinus pressure. Constantly waking up feeling congested or even with sinus pain is another sign that’s worth paying attention to.

In addition to all that, ongoing problems with bad breath are also common for nighttime mouth breathers.

What Can Be Done?

Well, we’re talking about a real health concern here, especially if breathing through your mouth at night is a sign of, or leads to sleep apnea. So the first step is to speak to your doctor. A sleep study might be indicated to make sure that there’s nothing deeply concerning going on.

The next step is to consult a myofunctional therapist who has experience with sleep-related conditions. The exercises I prescribe my patients can make an enormous difference when it comes to changing long-term or even life-long mouth breathing habits. Depending on your presentation and symptoms, there’s a good chance that I’ll be suggesting that you try SleepQ+ as part of the treatment.

As I mentioned above, if you breathe through your mouth during the day, you’ll breathe through your mouth at night, which is why my therapy begins with correcting any daytime mouth breathing habits.

Once my patients have improved their tongue posture, lip strength and nasal breathing during the daytime, I know they’ll be capable of breathing through their nose at night. This is when I recommend mouth taping or lip gluing to aid the process, and this usually begins around the seventh or eighth therapy session.

What Is SleepQ+?

SleepQ+ is described as a gentle lip gel, and it’s designed to help promote nasal breathing during sleep. The story behind the product is quite interesting. It was invented by a New Zealand man who’d suffered from chronic sinus pain for years. His condition was so bad, he had two rounds of sinus surgery hoping to get relief. But the pain persisted, and he ended up trying everything from nasal steroids and sprays, to rinses and painkillers with no success.

SleepQ+ Gentle Lip Gel

SleepQ+ Gentle Lip Gel

He discovered that he was breathing through his mouth while he slept, and realized this was a major contributor to his sinus pain. After trying a number of ineffective ways to keep his mouth shut at night, he had a brainwave. What if he could formulate a safe and easy to use adhesive that would gently keep his lips together at night?

It took a lot of time and effort, not to mention money but after a few hard years, SleepQ+ was born, and I’m happy to say that it’s now part of my practice.

An Easy Success Story

My boyfriend Ash has come a long way in myofunctional terms since we first met. He’s worked hard to get his tongue into the correct resting posture during the day.

He sometimes snores though, especially if he ends up sleeping on his back. So I’ve occasionally suggested that he tape his mouth at night with a bit of the Snoreless mouth taping strips I recommend.

He just smiles, shrugs and points at his beard and mustache, which raises a good point. It’s almost impossible for a man with facial hair to tape his mouth. But when I told him about SleepQ+, he was intrigued. It took him a week or so to come round to the idea but after he tried it just once, he was sold. He says he’s sleeping better, and waking up feeling more rested than he usually does.

SleepQ+ Gentle Lip GelHe also says that the gel is easy to use, comfortable, doesn’t glue his mouth shut like superglue (which he was actually worried about, strangely enough), and it’s easy to remove in the morning.

I’ve also been using it with good results, and I actually prefer it to taping my mouth. So it looks like we’re converts to this innovative new product.

To find out more, you can take a look at the company’s website

At this stage, SleepQ+ is only available in Australia and New Zealand, but we’re assured that distribution in Canada is imminent, with the USA to follow.

 
 

One Comment

  1. Pingback: My Radio Interview In New Zealand - Myofunctional Therapy Exercises for Tongue Thrust, Mouth Breathing, Braces, and Speech

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