Sleeping With Your Mouth Open?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016, 12:48 am

Do you sleep with your mouth open? If you do, you could be damaging your teeth.

Researchers from New Zealand  looked at sleepers and found that the acidity level in the mouths of those who slept with their mouths open reached levels that could cause tooth enamel to break down.

When you breath through your mouth when you sleep your saliva dries up. Saliva is an important part of the process that keeps the pH balance in the mouth from becoming too acidic. Dentists are reporting that more and more patients are complaining of dry mouth — especially when sleeping or when they first wake up. Previous studies have shown that people suffering from dry-mouth have a higher risk of tooth erosion and tooth decay.

The researchers measured the pH levels of sleeping volunteers. To make them breath through their mouths the volunteers wore nose clips. While wearing the clips, the mouth pH during sleep was 6.6 while mouth breathing. The average sleep pH of the mouth for non-clipped volunteers was 7.0 and during waking hours it was 7.3. This seems like a small difference but these small changes are all it takes for the acid to erode teeth and leave them vulnerable to tooth decay.

Mouth breathing can be reduced by keeping the nasal passages open. Prior to bedtime try a saline nasal spray, nose strips or nasal cones to open up the breathing passages of the nose.

Mouth breathing can also be a sign of a sleep breathing disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. If you snore loudly when you sleep, have been told you stop breathing or gasp during sleep, and experience daytime sleepiness you may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Ask your doctor or your sleep apnea dentist about diagnosis and treatment.

Protect your teeth from erosion and decay by visiting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today for your professional cleaning and fluoride treatment. Contact us today at 706-391-8777 to schedule your visit.


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Category: cavities, Mouth Health, sleep apnea

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