solving chipmunk cheeks

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
1speechpick
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solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by 1speechpick » Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:59 am

Hi everyone! I'm having significant "chipmunk cheeks" as I try to go to sleep. It is also waking me up at night. The chipmunk cheeks happen when I'm on my back but it seems even worse if I try to sleep on my side. I searched the board for information and am a little confused. Has anyone ever been able to get rid of this, and if so, how did you get rid of it??? It really interferes with the ability to sleep. Thanks for any input.
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harrywr2
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by harrywr2 » Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:46 am

Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth like you are trying to make a clucking noise and keep it there.

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chunkyfrog
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by chunkyfrog » Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:05 am

If you can tolerate a full face mask, do that--and let your mouth hang open.
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Jeanne Ellen
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by Jeanne Ellen » Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:55 am

You could try a really good chin strap like the Carex ($17.49) on amazon, which is what I've been using for the last 7 years. Plus mouth taping (Nextcare sensitive skin tape). These two items were the only solution to my chipmunk cheeks.

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ChicagoGranny
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by ChicagoGranny » Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:26 pm

1speechpick wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:59 am
I'm having significant "chipmunk cheeks" as I try to go to sleep.
Which mask are you using? Put your machine model, mask model and other pertinent equipment information (mouth tape, chinstrap, etc.) in your signature field and we won't have to ask again.

1speechpick
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by 1speechpick » Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:02 pm

ChicagoGranny wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:26 pm
1speechpick wrote:
Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:59 am
I'm having significant "chipmunk cheeks" as I try to go to sleep.
Which mask are you using? Put your machine model, mask model and other pertinent equipment information (mouth tape, chinstrap, etc.) in your signature field and we won't have to ask again.

Thank you for pointing that out. I will add machine information to my bio. I have the Airsense 10 For Her and am wearing Resmed Airfit N20 mask. I've tried a chin strap and mouth taping. Somehow air still escapes to my mouth.
ResMed AirSense 10 For Her with humidifier and heated hose
Resmed Airfit N20


"The best view comes after the hardest climb"

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ChicagoGranny
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by ChicagoGranny » Mon Jul 05, 2021 3:43 pm

Are you practicing placing the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth? Some who have made that a habit have rid themselves of chipmunk cheeks.

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Pugsy
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by Pugsy » Mon Jul 05, 2021 5:13 pm

Air is going up your nose and down your airway and prematurely entering your mouth because the back door from the oral cavity to the airway is open and this causes the pressure to back up against your lips and eventually force itself out the lips.
It can happen at any pressure....low or high. Often people complain of the cheeks being inflated as well which we call chipmunk cheeks.
If you tape your lips...your cheeks will likely inflate and that will also annoy you. You could try it though and see what happens.

You have to keep the back door closed which is easier said than done for a lot of people. Usually the tongue to the roof of the mouth trick is used but the problem is once we are asleep the tongue gets lazy and drops down and opens that back door.

So actually what we want to do is keep the air from ever entering the mouth via the back door. It is a common problem though and one that doesn't have an easy solution. There is a reflex action that normally closes the back door but the problem with reflex actions is we have no control over them. That's why they are called reflexes. I can open my mouth wide and yawn or talk or even stick out my tongue while on cpap and not have air enter my mouth. The reflex action prevents it but I can't tell you how to do it. I wish I could because if I could I could market it and buy a new truck.

Practicing the tongue to the roof of the mouth trick...that can block that back door so the air doesn't enter the oral cavity...fairly easy to do while awake but when we fall asleep the tongue gets lazy and drops down and opens the back door.
Practice sometimes will keep the tongue from falling down once we fall asleep.
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1speechpick
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by 1speechpick » Mon Jul 05, 2021 5:27 pm

Thanks everyone for your input! I tried the chin strap and taping the lips to no avail. After reading your posts, I noticed my resting tongue posture is mostly in the floor of the mouth (especially middle and posterior tongue), so I will try practicing elevating the tongue to the proper resting posture. Hopefully over time this will help. Thanks again!
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"The best view comes after the hardest climb"

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chunkyfrog
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Re: solving chipmunk cheeks

Post by chunkyfrog » Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:34 am

I found that humming through the nose was a good illustration.
Humming in your mouth sounds and feels different from humming in the nose only.
The back of the tongue and jaw position control which way air goes.
Try switching between a mouth hum and a nose hum.
Relax the tongue, and close the jaws to make your mouth into a nice soft "sandwich".
No biting--just relaxing.
Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset FOR HER, p10 mask