How to stop CPAP air leakage through my lips?

by Warren

If you want to stop the CPAP air leaks from your mouth or lips while you sleep, this article will give you some solutions.

I have had my CPAP machine for about three months...nasal mask seals good, but some nights I keep blowing air out of lips even with chin strap on.

As soon as I fall asleep, my chin seems to relax and drop and air leaks thru my mouth which causes me to wake again...

I have now tried a full nasal and mouth mask for a trial period but had a real hard time to get the seal to stop leaking...any ideas???


CPAP mask leaks are one of the main reasons for quitting the treatment. However, I can give you some ideas to prevent mouth leaking and lip flutter.

Many CPAP users have to duct tape their lips, seriously, cause they can't think of a better way to stop the leaks.

As an alternative to duct tape - you can use a medical tape called Blenderm by 3M. It is clear, stays put but comes off clean and easily, and does't irritate your skin.

You should leave a 1/2 inch tab turned under and taped together for fast removal just in case.

With the tape, I don't think you have to wear the CPAP chin strap. I figure you've got enough crap on your head as it is. However, if it doesn't work, try this method with the chin strap.

A CPAP full face mask, a "hybrid" style mask of nasal pillows and mouthpiece (Resmed Mirage Liberty), or a thin layer of PoliGrip Denture Gel is the only viable alternative I know of to stop the "lip flutters" if you don't want to use any of the various taping methods.

You can easily open your mouth with no discomfort if you need to with the thin layer of Poligrip Adhesive Cream and if you do you can easily re-seal your lips by running your tongue lightly over them to moisten them and press them together to re-seal them.

You can also try Poligrip Seal Strips Adhesive for similar results. Since they are made to go in your mouth they won't irritate your lips.

For more information about CPAP mask leaks, please click here.

If you have other experiences and opinions regarding this problem, please comment below.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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May 29, 2020
Perfect tape to shut your mouth/leaks in mask
by: Lucy

Instead of tape use Silicon Scar sheets, of anybrand they act like tape without glue or irritation to your skin. You can tape your mouth or the leaks near your eyes. They don't have drugs of any type is just silicon.

That said, I use the tape but my mouth fills with air in the middle of the night and I have to remove the tape. I just started using the CPAP machine and the mask, I imagined the air goes to the mouth because the obstruction in the airways, my machine adjusts automatically, how can I stop that? any ideas anybody?

Sep 11, 2019
by: Anonymous

I have used CPAP 7 months and have go through 3 types of masks. I am able to fall asleep w Airfit P10, but mouth fluttering open is waking me up. I did decrease my AHI by using extra strength Breathe Right in conjunction. I read about Peggy's suggestion for using gauze between lips and will try that, but not sure what is the right size? I have also read about the tennis headband and that would be my next try. Using FFM still gave me chipmunk cheeks and was very uncomfortable. Any more suggestions?

Aug 31, 2018
CPAP Slips
by: Anonymous

I fall asleep quickly with my CPAP but after about an hour, (I sleep on my back) my CPAP slips and then I am messing with it until I end up removing it. Any solutions?

Mar 01, 2018
Dry mouth causes tooth decay!!
by: Anonymous

I use scotch tape to stop lip flutter while sleeping. I am not a mouth breather . My mouth evidently fills with air and dries my entire mouth. This can cause tooth decay since saliva coats the teeth and prevents bacteria and calculus from firming. ?(I’m a dental hygienist) what can stop the air from entering the mouth to cause lip flutter in the first place? Doesn’t that take away from the pressure needed to keep an open airway?

Feb 25, 2018
My mouthguard was preventing my lips from closing
by: Peggy

I wear a night guard for teeth grinding and found that my lips cannot fully close when the guard is in place. I'm using AirFit P10 nasal pillow mask, and the leakage from the very slight opening was causing fluttering and bubbling all night.

Lo and behold, I figured out a way to stop this and prevent mouth breathing. I bought some very soft gauze pads and will fold one in half and gently slip it between the lips. You don't need to slip it in far, just enough to create a seal. It worked like magic!

No more fluttering or leakage, and it allows me to avoid mouth breathing. I don't need to use a chin strap if I use the gauze pad and sleep on my left side. The gauze stays put all night. Just make sure that the pads are the softest ones available. This is an easy fix to an annoying problem!

May 29, 2017
How to stop air leakage through lips
by: Louis

I tried Ray 11/3/16 advice last night. wear a headband (tennis player type) across my mouth it stopped the fluttering of my lips. slept better

Nov 03, 2016
Air Leaking Between Lips During Sleep
by: Ray

I have been using CPAP for aver 12 years and am an "air leaking between lips" sufferer, or used to be! The remedy that works for me is to wear a headband (tennis player type) across my mouth. It needs to be a fairly wide one to ensure it doesn't slip out of position during the night. It also needs to be washed regularly and replaced once the elastic loses tension. I always have at least two on hand to rotate. It provides a soft and comfortable solution, unlike duct or surgical tape, especially if, like me, you have a beard or moustache. The lower strap of my nasal mask helps to keep the headband in position. If using a single strap mask or pillows, it may not be so effective. However, it's an inexpensive option that's worth a try.

Jul 11, 2016
have found no tape that works
by: peterp

Even a pinhole leak is enough. Think of a balloon with a pinhole in in it, deflates at once. Have found no solution.

Every tape, including heavy duty industrial, is undermined by saliva and starts leaking within an hour or less. As for full face mask, you the the pressure is equalized, and no problem with air escaping your mouth. But..they leak like crazy!

Sep 14, 2015
Is it worth the stress?
by: Anonymous

I'm 95 years young just started CPAP cannot adjust. Is poor sleep better than no sleep?

Mar 29, 2014
Lip flutter
by: Anonymous

I had some success with duct tape, but never thought of surgical tape. I will try that tonight.

Glad I finally found a forum that actually helps me!

I use an APAP on 13-20 pressure, nasal mask, 2 chin straps, a Puresleep mouthpiece and earplugs.

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