Sleeping with Your Mouth Open Leaves Your Teeth More Likely to Face Decay
Posted on 11/25/2019 by Dr. Brandon Cooley
Something you wouldn't normally think of at night can have a startling effect on your teeth. We all can breathe through our noses and or mouth, what most people don't realize is when you breathe through your mouth at night it can cause problems for your teeth.
Dry mouth is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Your body's saliva mechanism is the natural defense against cavities. Saliva brings new minerals to the tooth while washing away bacteria. Without it, your mouth acidity rises and with it, so does your tooth decay.
Causes of Mouth Breathing
Anxiety can be one of the reasons you breathe through your mouth at night. When you are stressed or anxious, the heart beats at a faster pace requiring more oxygen. If you deal with allergies, then you can easily end up with a stuffy nose when you are horizontal.
Antihistamines can help but beware, some will cause the dry mouth issues you are looking to avoid. Cold and flu symptoms can also lead to a stuffed nose or a dry mouth. Deviated septum's can also restrict the flow of oxygen, causing you to gasp for the lost air through your mouth. If you have sleep apnea, it can cause mouth breathing as well.
Mouth Breathing Effects on the Teeth
Mouth breathing while you are asleep allows your saliva to evaporate. Unfortunately, that doesn't only mean an uncomfortable, cotton feeling in your mouth when you wake up. It means that your mouth is unable to regulate itself.
Your body uses saliva to wash your mouth, reduce acidity from what we consume, and to add minerals back into our teeth. Without that saliva, lots of things can happen, namely, tooth decay.
Talk with us if you regularly sleep with your mouth open. Keeping a glass of tap water next to your bed can help, as well as seeing us for cleanings sooner than every six months, as that can help keep your teeth safe.