Whether you do it on purpose or not, sleeping or napping with your mouth open is a bad idea.
It’s one of the most common reasons why people wake up with bad breath or a dry mouth.
Not only does a dry mouth remove the protective benefits of saliva, but it also damages your teeth.
Here’s why (1):
- Saliva has natural ability to kill the bacteria in the mouth that produce acid
- As acid levels rise through your slumber, tooth erosion and decay can begin
- For some people, acidity levels can reach a pH of 3.6! (the lower the number the more acidic it is)
- This is almost as bad as drinking a soda drink before bed
Basically, the less saliva you have in your mouth, the more acid is produced by bacteria, the faster your teeth decay.
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Now, imagine this happening every night of the year for eight hours. It’s easy to see how this unhealthy habit can ruin your teeth!
This also explains why people who snore or have asthma or obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to have cavities, especially in the back of the mouth.
Joanne Choi, a sleep researcher at Otago University in New Zealand, and her colleagues created a device that can be clipped to the teeth at night (2). This was created to record acidity levels and transmits data to a computer.
‘Our findings support the idea that mouth-breathing may indeed be a causal factor for dental diseases such as enamel erosion and caries.’
How To Stop Mouth Breathing At Night?
There are also pieces of equipment you can use, such as a sleeping mouth guard to help keep your mouth close during the night. These are especially good for people who don’t suffer from any health problems.