Dental Health: Sleeping with your mouth open is bad for your teeth

Sleep better with your mouth closed. Image: giorgiomtb - fotolia

Dental Health: Sleeping with your mouth open is just as harmful as a soft drink
In addition to regular tooth brushing, diet is also important for dental health. Most people are well aware that you shouldn't have a sugary soft drink before going to bed. Sleeping with your mouth open has just as bad effects on your teeth, researchers have now discovered.

As problematic as a soft drink before bed
If you want to avoid tooth decay and toothache, you should not drink any sweet drinks such as soft drinks or fruit juices, especially before going to bed. Doctors warn that the acid in fruit attacks tooth enamel. Researchers from New Zealand have now made an interesting discovery. According to this, people who sleep with their mouths open damage their teeth as much as if they would drink a cola or orange juice before going to bed.


Sleep better with your mouth closed. Image: giorgiomtb - fotolia

An open mouth dries up
People who sleep with their mouths open are not doing their teeth any good. If it stays open for a long time, the result is a dry mouth that lacks the saliva that kills acid-producing bacteria. This makes it easy for erosion and tooth decay. This is the result of a study that was published in the journal "Journal of Oral Rehabilitation". As reported by the Swiss Internet portal “”, the pH value drops from a neutral 7.7 to a slightly acidic 6.6 when the sleeper breathes through the mouth.

PH value is sometimes very acidic
The researchers led by Joanne Choi from the Sir John Walsh Research Institute, University of Otago in New Zealand equipped ten healthy patients with specially made tooth sensors and nose clips for the study. It is said that in one case the pH even fell to 3.6, which is very acidic and erodes tooth enamel. According to the scientists, the value is as high as after consuming a soft drink or fruit juice. Choi said: "Our results support the belief that mouth breathing is indeed a cause of dental diseases such as tooth enamel erosion and tooth decay."

More tooth decay from sleeping and breathing problems
According to the Internet portal, the New Zealand study confirms observations by dentists that patients with sleep or breathing problems have more tooth decay. According to this, the dental problems increase from front to back because the oral cavity dries out at the back first. Men are generally more affected, with a third of them breathing through their mouths at night, compared with only five percent of women, according to the portal. (ad)

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