Yet another viral TikTok trend has triggered health hazard warnings around potential dangers. This time, it’s “mouth taping”, a so-called beauty hack that supposedly holds the key to better sleep and anti-aging.
TikTok influencers have said that taping your mouth trains your brain to breathe from the nose, thereby resulting in better sleep. But health experts have warned against the “mouth taping” trend that has become viral on TikTok.
The new trend involves taping your lips shut to stop mouth breathing at night. The videos in which users are actually trying and explaining how to tape their lips have been viewed millions of times. Experts say it is just a matter of time before this trend spreads on other social media platforms.
In one TikTok, which racked up 4.4 million views, @isabelle.lux said: “I tape my mouth shut every single day… Sleeping properly is really important to anti-ageing and looking and feeling your best.”
Now, experts have sounded an alarm. They say the risk include obstructed breathing, worsening of sleep apnea and its risk factors, irritation from or allergic reactions to the tape, and sleep disruption.
Sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, told CNN: “If you have obstructive sleep apnea, yes, this can be very dangerous.”
“There is limited evidence on the benefits of mouth taping and I would be very careful — and even talk to your health care provider before attempting it,” Dasgupta added.
He said there was “limited evidence” of the benefits, and if a person is desperate to try it out for themselves, Dasgupta advises to be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea first.
A sleep specialist from the University of Michigan Health, Dr. Megan Acho, also advised against the trend, saying:
“Importantly, if you have nasal congestion or a deviated nasal septum, you could potentially limit airflow if you tape your mouth. This is one reason why we would definitely recommend avoiding mouth taping in people with a known nasal disease and in children.”
Obstructive sleep apnea, which is the complete or partial collapse of the airway, is one of the most common and dangerous sleep disorders: Over 1 billion people between the ages of 30 and 69 are thought to have the condition, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine. Millions more are undiagnosed, experts say.
Watch the video below for more details: