ASAA Family Sites:
Sleep Apnea logo sleeptember logo

Why Close Mouth with Full Face Mask?


#1

I’ve been using a CPAP for a number of years but recently switched physicians. The previous one was not responding to my continued fatigue and I found using software that I was experiencing a high number of apneas.

I use a full face mask and do obtain a good seal. The new provider is encouraging the use of a chin strap to close my mouth even though I am using a full-face mask. I don’t understand why this is being encouraged. Will ask for clarification at next visit but that isn’t until October. [Yeah, could go in earlier but not worth it for just this question.]

So why use a chin strap to close the mouth with a full-face mask?


#2

You’ve got me on this one. I had a full face mask when I started CPAP 6 years ago. I had chosen the full face mask because I was, at the time, a life-long-mouth-breather.

It’s possible this physician is asleep at the wheel. I think I would give him/her the benefit of the doubt and just ask directly when you have occasion to.

In the meanwhile, if you have not already done so, consider getting the sleepyhead application (available for free online) and follow your own sleep data for awhile. If everything concerning your sleep is in top ship shape condition (AHI below 5) without the chin strap, then I would just get comfortable without it.


#3

Even with a full face mask if you open your mouth while sleeping it will disrupt the therapy and a chin strap just adds to the discomfort.
Try using a gel called sleepQ+ on your lips. The gel is amazing, it retains the lips closed, releases at the touch of the tongue, re-engages again when the mouth is closed and washes off with water. Great reviews on the website www.sleepqplus.com
Good luck.


#4

Hi.
With being encouraged to use a chin strap you may have what is known as jaw drop, whilst breathing through your mouth when asleep your jaw will drop open as your gasping for air during an apnea.

You say that your full face mask gives you a good seal, none the less with jaw drop no matter how well the mask fits you will experience leakage from bottom of mask that you may well be unaware of as your asleep when this happens.

It would not harm to ask your new physician to checkout your pressure settings as it also maybe that your fighting with ex-haling and in-haling, using a chin strap may well cause you some discomfort with your jaw, if it is not fitted right , this can take a lot of trial and error till you have it right to suit you.

I am not saying do not use one, its just from my own experience with using the chin strap I found it very uncomfortable and my jaw hurt like hell in the mornings, it just did not suit me, I had my pressure lowered, carried on using my full face mask and my jaw drop became less noticeable.