What is mouth taping? Experts warn TikTok trend has ‘serious health risks’

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Social media users are being warned that a new viral trend poses “serious health risks”.

The mouth taping trend has gone viral on TikTok in the past few weeks.

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However, experts warn against participating in it as it poses risks to your health.

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Here’s everything you need to know:

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What is mouth tape?

The #mouthtaping tag has garnered over 23 million views on TikTok so far.

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Users tape their mouths shut overnight so you just breathe through your nose.

In the videos on TikTok, people film themselves with a small amount of tape and put it in the middle of their lips.

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A video, which has more than 4.2million views, shows the user explaining her Sleeping Beauty routine – including using mouth tape.

Showing off the type of tape and size to her followers, the user claims it has “completely transformed” her sleep since she started using it.

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TODO: Define component type tiktok

But does mouth tape pose any health risks?

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Nasal breathing has some recognized health benefits.

However, James Wilson, also known as The Sleep Geek, has warned that mouth taping could actually pose a “serious” health risk.

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Speaking to Newsweek, he said: “Unfortunately, taping on the mouth is an extreme method to encourage nasal breathing that poses a serious health risk.”

He explained that some of the risks of mouth-tapping include sleep apnea, narrowed nostrils, or something blocking your nasal airways.

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Mr Wilson continued: “If this is the case, taping your mouth will worsen your health and contribute to more serious problems like heart disease, COPD and stroke, especially if it’s used and you have sleep apnea.”

Instead, he recommends trying a few breathing exercises to naturally encourage nasal breathing.

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“First, sit in a chair and relax your shoulders. Place your left hand on your left knee, take your right thumb, place it over your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril. Place your right ring finger over your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril,” he said.

A woman with tape over her mouth. (Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

What are the benefits of nasal breathing?

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Stuart Sandeman, breathing expert and author, explained the benefits of nasal breathing.

He said stylist: “Breathing through your nose optimizes the air entering your lungs and slows your breathing to a rate at which your body and mind function best.

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“That’s why it’s important to breathe through your nose as much as possible. Your mouth should only be used in emergencies because the gasps that you naturally take through your mouth at such moments will ring the alarm bell in your body and mind to activate your muscles and get yourself to safety.

“However, if you become a habit of mouth breathing, your brain will start ringing alarm bells throughout the day, which in turn can impact your energy levels, mood, sleep, digestion, immune system, face shape and more.”

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What is Tiktok?

TikTok is a social media app that focuses on short-form videos.

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Launched in 2017, it surpassed 2 billion mobile downloads worldwide as of October 2020.

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