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‘Mouth-taping’ one of ‘most dangerous’ TikTok trends: doctors

This new “health” trend is enough to make you gag.

Mouth-taping, the TikTok viral act of affixing a slice of tape over the lips in the hopes of achieving a restful night of sleep, is being deemed one of the “most dangerous” social media practices of the day.

“This is one of the most dangerous trends I’ve heard of in some time, and I’m quite concerned that it is being advocated as a ‘health’ trend,” Dr. David Culpepper, a Lexington, Kentucky–based general practitioner, told Fox News Digital. “To put it quite simply, intentionally obstructing your airways during sleep is a terrible idea.”

Mouth-taping mania, with over 24.2 million TikTok zealots, sees participants like health and wellness influencer Cory Rodriguez place either a strip or a slice of paper medical tape over their lips before going to bed. Members of the community warn against using “harsh” adhesives like duct tape because it can harm the lips.

Mouth-breathing promoters on TikTok claim the hack improves sleep, snoring and oral health.
Mouth-breathing promoters on TikTok claim the hack improves sleep, snoring and oral health.
TikTok/@corylrodriguez

In his popular post, Rodriguez, virtual known as @HealthWithCory, explained the alleged benefits of mouth-taping to his over 5.7 million viewers, saying, “The goal is to breathe through your nose while you’re asleep versus your mouth.”

“This is going to help your oral help, it going to help your sleep it’s going to help dry mouth [and] snoring,” he added, “because you are humidifying and moisturizing the air.”

Mouth-taping advocate James Jun, or @MoveWithJames, too touts the supposed pros of covering his trap while he sleeps. 

Jun regularly touts the benefits of mouth-taping, claiming that the more he breathes through his nose, the more peaceful rest he's able to get at night.
Jun regularly touts the benefits of mouth-taping, claiming that the more he breathes through his nose, the more peaceful rest he’s able to get at night.
TikTok/@movewithjames

In a clip with 3.1 million views, Jun claimed that he joined the tapping craze two years ago and the practice improved his nose-breathing abilities. He went on the add that he’s enjoyed less snoring, has been relieved of his once-chronic sore jaw and throat, wakes up well rested each morning and is able to mouth-breath during the day.

And TikToker Chance Culp purported to notice similar perks to mouth-taping in her trending post with 1.3 million views, admitting that she has no clue why muzzling herself has granted her great nights of sleep. 

While some skeptical commentators have scoffed at the trend, writing, “I would suffocate” and “this looks scary,” a number of online audience members were mesmerized by the presumed health hack. 

While some mouth-tapers claim the practice has help them achieve the "best sleep" of their lives, others fear the muzzling will cause them to suffocate and die in their sleep.
While some mouth-tapers claim the practice has helped them achieve the “best sleep” of their lives, others fear the muzzling will cause them to suffocate and die in their sleep.
TikTok/@allstyleschanceculp

“I’ve been doing this now for a couple months after seeing this and it is life-changing. Best sleep of my life,” penned an enthusiast.

“I do this every night, except I tape my whole lips. At first, I thought I’d panic, but no issues. Sleep SO much better, lessened snoring, no dry mouth,” chimed another. 

However, there are major health benefits of nose breathing.

The nasal hairs filter out foreign particles like dust and allergens, and the nose breathing process humidifies inhaled air which helps the lungs, per Dental Logic. It also prevents tooth decay and produces nitric oxide which helps oxygen circulate through the body.

The virtues of inhaling and exhaling through the nostrils notwithstanding, scientific research has not proven that mouth-taping is a medically advisable cure for any sleep-related issues. 

Sleep experts warn that mouth-taping could exacerbate health issues in people with sleep apnea.
Sleep experts warn that mouth-taping could exacerbate health issues in people with sleep apnea.
TikTok/@el_johnstone

A recent study from the Sleep Foundation found that “anecdotally, people claim mouth taping eases a variety of problems, such as snoring, fatigue, concentration issues, bad breath, and excessive thirst at night.”

The report continues, however, “Most of these claims have not been scientifically studied.”

“So far, research has only demonstrated one benefit of mouth taping: a reduction in snoring and tiredness in people with obstructive sleep apnea.”

But sleep expert James Wilson, the self-anointed “Sleep Geek,” told Newsweek that folks with sleep apnea — a condition in which breathing stops intermittently during sleep — could exacerbate their health woes by mouth-taping. 

“Taping your mouth will make your health worse and could contribute to more serious issues like heart disease, COPD and stroke,” said Wilson, “particularly if applied and you are a sleep apnea sufferer.”

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