Do you wake up with your mouth feeling dry or feeling tired? You may be mouth-breathing while you sleep. If you use a CPAP machine and are experiencing mouth breathing, you are most likely not getting adequate airflow to keep your airways open effectively throughout the night.

When people breathe through their mouths throughout the night, it is essentially the same as sleeping without receiving proper oxygen levels. If you already use CPAP therapy and still feel the effects of mouth breathing, keep reading. We’ll discuss health issues related to mouth breathing, how to avoid it, and how to get the full benefits of your CPAP therapy.

Health Risks Associated With CPAP Mouth Breathing

CPAP mouth breathing reduces your saliva’s ability to remove bacteria from your mouth and can lead to the following issues:

  • Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease
  • Throat and ear infections
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Tooth decay and cavities
  • Inflamed gums

Breathing through your nose is your body’s natural way of filtering out germs and bacteria. When you breathe through your mouth, harmful bacteria can quickly enter your mouth.

Mouth breathing also decreases your blood circulation, slows down your reflexes and brain, and depletes your oxygen levels. If you mouth breathe while using your CPAP therapy, it can worsen symptoms as you aren’t receiving your necessary therapy benefits.

What Causes CPAP Mouth Breathing?

Several issues can lead to mouth breathing at night, including asthma, allergies, chronic cold, and other sinus issues such as sinus polyps, a deviated nasal septum, or birth abnormalities. If you have enlarged adenoids and tonsils or due to the shape and size of your nose or jaw, it can also lead to CPAP mouth breathing.

Other risk factors include obesity and being a male as they tend to mouth breathe more often.

Signs That You Are CPAP Mouth Breathing at Night

If you find yourself waking up with a dry mouth or bad breath, are hoarse from snoring, experience chronic fatigue, or have dark circles under your eyes, you may be breathing through your mouth while connected to your CPAP equipment during the night.

Tips to Reduce and Prevent CPAP Mouth Breathing 

For anyone who experiences discomfort, mouth breathing, or other problems with CPAP therapy, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Below are several tips to help reduce nighttime mouth breathing while using a CPAP or BiPAP machine.

#1. Request a Chin Strap 

A chin strap can help keep your mouth closed while sleeping and prevent unintended leaks during your CPAP treatment.  This helps to ensure that the air is not lost through the mouth and reaches your airway as intended. Chin straps come in many designs and gently prevent mouth breathing.

#2. An Oronasal Mask

For some people, a chin strap is ineffective, and you may consider changing the type of mask you use for your CPAP therapy. Nasal pillows and nasal masks deliver pressurized air through your nose, while an oronasal mask sends air through the mouth and nose.

#3. Keep Your Sinuses Clear 

Congestion from allergies and other sinus issues can lead to your nose being blocked and nighttime mouth breathing. Keep your sinuses clear to help reduce CPAP mouth breathing and make it easier to receive your CPAP therapy consistently.

You can turn a humidifier on in your room to add moisture to the air and help soothe dry nasal passages. You can also fill the CPAP’s humidifier reservoir entirely before going to bed and set it so it is mostly empty by morning.

Another alternative is to get a prescription for a nasal steroid to help reduce congestion and inflammation in your nasal passages. If the structure of your nasal or sinus area contributes, consult an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) for potential treatment options.

DreamZz Sleep Center Is Here to Help You Sleep Well

CPAP therapy is an excellent sleep apnea treatment option and will help ensure you wake feeling rested. Whether you have already participated in a sleep study or done a home sleep test, we will work with you to determine the best way to help you have the sleep you dream of. If you suffer from sleep apnea, snoring, insomnia, sleepiness, and tiredness, we can help. 

DreamZz Sleep Center is here to help you find the best solution to help you get the sleep that you deserve. The Dream Team will help ensure you get the proper CPAP machine, masks, headgear, filters, hose, and water chamber that will give you the sleep you need and desire. We provide medical equipment from reputable brands such as Philips Respironics, Fisher & Paykel, and Resmed.

Contact us today, and we will help you get the sleep you need to feel happy and rested.