Keeping mouth shut

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EB1979 +0 points · 11 months ago

I breath through my nose during the day but for some reason I open it at night. I tried a full face mask and it's definitely a no-go so they gave me a chin strap to pair with the nasal pillows. Even with this, there are still leaks (squeaking noises my lips make as air is forced through them).

The chin strap is also quite uncomfortable. If I could I would just use the nasal pillows as I actually find it quite comfortable. Unfortunately, the leak rate is always terrible when I use the pillows without the chin strap.

Any tips on keeping mouth closed?

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NiceSilverBison1316 +0 points · 11 months ago

They tell me surgical tape across the mouth works well, although I have never tried it. I am a mouth breather also and use a nasal pillow with chin strap. My original one from the VA was just a single strap and was uncomfortable. I now use a Ruby adjustable chin strap that has two straps, one on top of head and one behind head, with a nice chin pocket. It is much more comfortable and is adjustable and comes in more than one size. I will still get a small amount of drizzle from the side of my mouth sometimes, but not enough to affect my AHI scores.

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EB1979 +0 points · 11 months ago

My scores are really good with it (typically below 3 events per hour). The problem is I wake up because of the sound of air "squeaking" out of my closed mouth.

There's been a few times I've woken up and for a second I wonder if I even have the sleep apnea gear on so I know I'm getting used to it. I think the main problem is that I am a light sleeper and so the sound of the air will wake me up.

I suppose I could try the surgical tape, although with a beard, I can't imagine it being too comfortable.

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NiceSilverBison1316 +0 points · 11 months ago

What type of chin strap do you have? Maybe you need an upgrade. There are several different types that might work better than what you have. I didn't know you had a beard. Surgical tape might be painful. If all else fails, you may have to opt for a full face mask. They always recommend them if you breath through your mouth. I used the F&P Simplus for a while and it wasn't bad. Of course the advantage is, if you breathe through your mouth while sleeping, it won't create leaks. Good luck.

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EB1979 +0 points · 11 months ago

I think it's a Phillips. I can make it tighter but when I do it's uncomfortable and I can't fall asleep.

I've tried the full face mask, it's a definite no go. There's no way it could work for me.

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NiceSilverBison1316 +0 points · 11 months ago

Have you tried an oral appliance? That's what I'm using now. It takes getting used to, like CPAP, but is much less complicated.

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EB1979 +0 points · 11 months ago

I tried it - it didn't work well for me. I was still waking up quite tired. My friend has been using one for some time and his jaw is completely messed up. He can't get it back to the correct position.

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NiceSilverBison1316 +0 points · 11 months ago

EB, I have come up with another suggestion. This may be my last one as I am running out of ideas. You may want to look at the TAP PAP Nasal Pillow CPAP mask. It is a nasal pillow combined with a boil and bite mouthpiece that attaches together. You just heat up the mouthpiece to fit, then attach it to the nasal pillow. Since the mouth piece does not have to be adjusted forward, it won't hurt your jaw. It is only there to add stability to the nasal pillow and hopefully, keep your mouth closed. Just saw one on the Patient Sleep Supplies webpage. I believe one of the dentists on the board also recommends it.

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SleepyMommy703 +0 points · 11 months ago

I have a terrible time keeping my mouth closed as well. I used to use a thin chin strap and had to tape my mouth shut at night with 2 pieces of surgical tape. I know they don't recommend that because of the risk of your power going out and the machine stopping, but as I'm a very light sleeper and wake many times a night I'm pretty confident I'd wake up if that were to happen.

A few months ago I started with a new chin strap. I don't know what it's called but I found it on Amazon. It's white, the entire thing is stretchy and it's a good 3 inches wide. I still have to adjust it fairly tight. It was uncomfortable at first, but I'm used to it now. But the fact that it's wider seems to keep my lips closed better than the thinner strap design. I don't have to tape my lips closed anymore.

Good luck!

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FatBear +0 points · 11 months ago

How long have you been using the CPAP? There are a lot of adjustments to make and I'm sure some are easier or harder for each individual. Mouth closed, don't roll onto your belly (or back for many of us), choosing the right mask, settling into pillow without losing mask seal, not panicking because there's something clamped onto your face!, managing the hose, making sure nose remains clear, etc. I've been using the CPAP since 1996. Some of these things took me months, but eventually it all settles out. You're probably in it for life, so don't fight it, just treat it as another learning/adapting exercise.

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EB1979 +0 points · 10 months ago

I have been using it for about 2.5 months. Even with the chin strap I am still opening my mouth. Last night I was having this dream and this person I know was in it and she kept making the most annoying nasaly sighing sounds every 3 or 4 seconds or so while I was trying to talk to her and I kept thinking why the hell is she making those sounds - then I started to come out of my sleep a bit and realized it was my mouth making these buzzing sounds like air trying to escape.

Funny as it is, it's seriously annoying.

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snuffie3456 +0 points · 9 months ago

You can get a simple boil and bite oral appliance at most sporting goods stores. These do NOT thrust the jaw forward, but they DO help you keep your mouth shut.

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MAC +0 points · 9 months ago

Hi, Instead of a chin strap, I use a soft cervical collar that I bought through amazon. It helps a lot to cut down on mouthbreathing, keeping my neck extended, stopping my chin from falling to my chest and cutting down on mouth dryness in the morning. Simple solution that works for me.

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