My mouth drops open in deep sleep and the seal on my mask is broken

by Betty Andrysiak
(Crystal Lake, Il, USA)

I currently use a ResMed Mirage Quattro mask. This is my 3rd mask.

This mask is best, but THE BRIDGE OF MY NOSE BECOMES SORE from the pressure.

With all masks, my mouth drops significantly open when I am in deep sleep thereby breaking the seal. To readjust it totally awakens me! I am a 69 year old female.

I have been trying for 11 months to get all of this to work right, and it just doesn't!


Betty, a lot of us have the bridge of nose problem with the ResMed Mirage Quattro. If you are a mouth breather, you could use a CPAP chin strap, which can keep your mouth closed while you sleep. A chin strap can be very practical if you like to use CPAP nasal pillows or CPAP nasal masks and if you are a mouth breather.

You can keep the ResMed Mirage Quattro full face mask for when your nose heals, and meanwhile you can use nasal pillow mask.

I'd go for a nasal pillow mask. First, it will take all the pressure off the bridge of your nose and reduce the leakage problem you are having. Secondly, they are much more comfortable for side sleepers.

One thing is that hanging your hose over the head of your bed relieves the tugging on the mask that contributes to or causes the discomfort at the bridge of the nose.

Another thing is that your mask presses too hard on the bridge of your nose (maybe because of your nose's anatomy) and your nose becomes sore. You can solve this problem with a piece of tape with a thin piece of gauze under the tape. In this way you will protect your nose from the pressure and this trick solves the problem.

There is also a new Quattro mask named ResMed Mirage Quattro FX full face mask, which comes with a new frame and cushion technology. It has a dual-wall cushion with a contoured membrane which can rest gently against the nose for a comfortable fit and minimal facial contact.

You can watch this video to learn how to fit this new quattro fx cpap mask:

However, just because a mask has a higher price tag on it , or just because is new, doesn't automatically make it a better mask either.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

Comments for My mouth drops open in deep sleep and the seal on my mask is broken

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Feb 18, 2011
suggestion for keeping mouth shut
by: Anonymous

Taping your mouth with micropore tape might work. I've found that you can train the mouth to stay shut after some weeks and discontinue with the tape.

Feb 19, 2011
Thank you so much!!!
by: Betty

Thank you so much for replies and suggestions. You have no idea how much this means to me. I will try the micropore tape. The video about how to position the mask was most helpful. I have purchased 2 chin straps. The Respironics is just way too big for me. I do like the SP Medical LLC, but it is too elastic and my mouth still drops open a bit. It is much better than nothing though.
I currently have a Res Med Mirage Liberty mask as well as the Res med Mirage Quattro.
I will check out the nasal pillow masks.
Thanks much,

Feb 19, 2011
Test the Swift FX with your DME
by: Laizee

I very much prefer the Swift FX. I like to say it's the next best thing to sleeping naked. Very comfortable for side sleeping because every part that touches your face is soft.

The Swift nasal pillows mask also comes with cushions for the side pieces that touch your cheeks. A very comfortable mask and easy to get used to. I was hesitant to try one until my DME specialist let me try one on.

Feb 19, 2011
just like me
by: Sleepy

I almost thought I was reading one of my own posts. I had the exact same problem about two weeks.
I was fitted with the ResMed Mirage Quattro (small) full face mask and after the 2nd night, the bridge of my nose had a large sore on it. It was quite painful (it felt like my nose was broken)...This continued for the next two night and I finally had to stop wearing it. To this day I still have the mark on my nose from where the sore was Shocked

I went back to my DME and tried on the medium Quattro but that hard plastic around the nose area, even with the silicone that covers it, still didn't feel comfortable. I tried on the Respironics comfort gel, and this mask was very comfortable but leaked bad regardless of how I positioned myself or adjusted the straps.

I ended up with the Fisher & Paykel Forma (medium, full face) and I really like this one. it's comfortable and covers not just my mouth and nose, but also hugs my chin. There is no hard plastic touching my face.
I have had a little bit of a problem with excess leaking, but I've been simply adjusting the mask and my sleeping position and that's been working out ok and stopping the leaks.

I have a good DME supplier and switching masks has never been a problem.

My suggestion is to just keep trying on different full face masks until you find one that is comfy. Hopefully your DME supplier will work with you as mine does.

Feb 19, 2011
about DME...
by: Sleepy

If I were you, I would bring along my own pillows and even blankies if needed, and try on EVERY single mask he has...make sure, you try them on while your hooked up to a CPAP machine with the pressure going at your recommended settings (preferably your own machine). Not just for a few minutes either....try each one on for at least 10-15 minutes.

Does he have somewhere that you can lie down? Even a large recliner that goes all the way back?...Get yourself into all positions, on your side, backs and wriggle around some.

Don't leave that office until you are COMPLETELY satisfied....and if your still unsure, or he only offers you a couple to try on...then strap on your CAHONES and tell him that you will have to take it home and try for a few nights with the understanding that you will be returning it, if for some reason it's not working out and make sure he puts this in writing...

Never get rude with your DME..but always take a tight hold of the reigns...and let them know that your in charge. (again, passing this advise along that was given to me, hehe)

From what I understand, the ResMed and Respironics come with a 30 day return you may want to let your DME guy know that YOU know this, lol.
Other brands of masks I'm sure also have similar return policies.

If he gives you any grief about returns...remind him that there are plenty of other DME providers that you can go to. Wink

The wonderful folk on this site told me, not too long ago, that the mask is perhaps the most important part of your CPAP therapy so do whatever it takes to ensure you walk away with the right fitting mask, one that is comfortable and doesn't leak.

Good luck!

Feb 19, 2011
Resmed Quattro
by: Mimi

I thought exactly the same thing when I was starting out on cpap, but a hole in the bridge of my nose convinced me to try nasal pillows.

To my great surprise, I was able to breathe quite well through my nose and a lot of my stuffines went away. No mouth breathing, either.

I do several thngs to help my nose be clear. I take a generic over-the-counter form of Claritin every day with my doctor's blessing and I use a saline nasal mist spray to clear my sinuses (twice a day at first, occasionally now).

My doctor recommended a steroid nasal spray too, but I HATE the smell of that stuff and it turns out I'm doing fine without it. I drink plenty of water so that I'm well hydrated.

The right humidifier setting is important too. Too high and my nose gets stuffier, too low and my nasal passages dry out and get irritated.

The nasal pillow masks are a godsend. There is no pressure on the nose, less leakage, lighter weight and comfortable, and I swear they help keep my nose clear.

One of the things I've learned with CPAP, over and over again, it seems, is "never say never". So don't write off the possibility of a nasal pillow mask until you've tried it.

Feb 19, 2011
Resmed Quattro vs F&P Forma
by: David

When I switched out my small Quattro mask last week I flipped the mask over and compared the bridge of the nose to the medium sized mask. There was no difference in the width area, with regards to size, they were both very narrow. the only noticeable difference that I could see was the length between the two masks. I then compared these two sized Quattro masks to the F & P Forma, and immediatly noticed how much wider the nose area was on the F & P mask.

Also, the Mirage Quattro has that very hard plastic up around the nose bridge area that is covered up with the very thin silicone and with it being much narrower, you feel that hard plastic laying up against your nose..

This is where the F & P mask differed. The hard plastic doesn't touch your face at all and with it having that broader nose area, I think this is why I liked it better.

I also like the fact that to take this mask on and off, you only have to unclip the bottom strap, and only on the one side, not both. This makes it easy to get on and off.

Feb 19, 2011
Fisher and Paykel Flexifit 432
by: Anonymous

I tried the Fisher and Paykel Flexifit 432 full face mask recently. It is more comfortable than the Quattro due to the closed cell foam around it. However, it doesn't seem to accommodate jaw drop much, unlike the Quattro. I went back to my Quattro, as my jaw drops during my sleep, which the Quattro does a pretty good job accommodating.

I had pressure and discomfort on the bridge of my nose for the first month on the Quattro. In fact, I remember I had a mark on the bridge of my nose for at least a month. I thought a callous might develop there, but it didnt. Eventually it went away completely and now, you cant even tell I was wearing the Quattro all night. I suppose my nose bridge adjusted to the pressure.

Aug 02, 2020
Masks just did not work for me-several tries
by: Ted Villella

Full face masks all have the same problem, unless you sleep on your back, which you should avoid because it makes it very easy for your tounge to fall back blocking your air passage (isn't this the definiton of apnea? Isn't this why a positive air pressure is necessary?) they do not work when in deep sleep where the entire body goes limp, often called a form of paralysis. Paralysis is interpreted as the inability to consciously move, but who is conscious when in deep sleep? No, you cannot move intentionally, but because your body is limp you can and do move unconsciously in this mode of sleep, head sliding off a pillow or matteress for example.
In my case, my jaw drops opening my mouth and negating any effectiveness the masks may offer-I have tried several with and without chin straps. Think about this. You have this device pumping air and humidity (sounded good to me) but what with hoses and elastic straps to hold the mask tight enough to seal, then add the chin straps. The whole thing just kept waking me up. All this is expensive and cannot be effective for many people too many. CPAP is touted as the only option for sleep apnea. With all the money involved I challenge the industry to stop promoting CPAP, do the requisite research, studies and experiments and come up with a much cheaper more effective method of treatment.
My best solution is to wear a soft foam neck brace. I put the widest part of the brace under my chin. It stops my jaw from dropping. I sleep with my bed 6 inches higher on the end where my head rests. I sleep on my right side. It is not perfect, but it is effective. I do not wake up with dry mouth and I am getting much better sleep.
Innovation with integrity requires setting the profit motive aside. 26 billion sleep industry, surely if the leaders apply their talents to inexpensive but effective solutions instead of the value of their stock, well you get the idea.

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