How to Keep Your Mouth Closed While Sleeping

Updated February 21, 2017

If you've ever awakened to a dry mouth and throat, the culprit may be sleeping with your mouth open. Keeping with your mouth open while you sleep can lead various types of problems. Besides mouth and throat dryness and irritation, open-mouthed sleeping also can contribute to bad breath and gum disease because the position allows more bacteria to grow in your mouth. If you sleep with your mouth open, you're also more likely to snore, which can be aggravating to others in your home. There are strategies that you can use to help keep your mouth closed during slumber.

Lie down on your side or stomach when you sleep. Back sleepers are more likely to open their mouths during sleep.

Place a nasal strip over the bridge of your nose. Nasal strips use adhesive material to pull your nasal passages open wider. This improvement of nose breathing can make it less likely that you'll need to breathe through your mouth.

Use a saline nasal spray and a humidifier to unclog a stuffy nose. Squirt saline spray into one nostril at a time. The salt in the spray can help reduce swelling in your nasal passages. Humidifiers also can help to relieve congestion, which makes it easier to breathe through your nose.

Wear an oral vestibular shield. This device fit onto your mouth and helps prevent you from sleeping with your mouth open or snoring.

Wear a chin strip. Chin strips usually fit around the head and secure the jaw so that your mouth stays shut during slumber. Do not use a chin strip unless you have at least one nasal passage that is completely open.

Things You'll Need

  • Saline nasal spray
  • Nasal strips
  • Oral vestibular shield
  • Chin strip
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About the Author

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.