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Sleeping With Your Mouth Open Can Be Bad For Your Teeth

Aside from potentially annoying your spouse, experts have confirmed that snoring and sleeping with your mouth open can lead to poor dental health.

This is according to a study conducted in New Zealand. The research published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation saying the sleeping habit dries up the protective saliva that gets rid of acid-producing bacteria.

The pH level in the mouth should be at 7.7 but decreases to an acidic 6.6 whenever you are sleeping with an open mouth. This means that you can be at risk of tooth erosion and decay while you are resting.

Photo credit: GettyImages via Stuff
Photo credit: GettyImages via Stuff

Stuff reported that during the experiment, 10 healthy individuals wore smart mouth pieces and nose clamps some of them had marked around 3.6 pH levels – which implies “highly acidic and enamel-erosive.”

Joanne Choi, an Otago University sleep researcher who took part of the study, commented:

“This study is the first to continuously monitor intra-oral pH changes in healthy individuals over several days.

“Our findings support the idea that mouth breathing may indeed be a causal factor for dental diseases such as enamel erosion and caries.”

The research also said that men had bigger tendency to sleep with their mouths open compared with women.

Tips for Sleeping With Your Mouth Closed

On an eHow entry, the website said that sleeping with an open mouth can even “lead to gum disease.”

The site also shared several tips to stop the bad sleeping habit.

1. Sleep on your side or on your stomach. This is because “sleeping on your back can make it more likely that you will sleep with your mouth open.”

2. If you have stuffy nose, use a spray or decongestant so you wouldn’t have to breathe through your mouth. However, eHow reminded people to “be wary of using these products for extended periods of time, though, as they can actually worsen stuffiness with extended use.”

3. Use an oral vestibular shield, a nasal strip, or a chin strip.

These simple tricks will help you enjoy quality sleep without compromising your dental health at the same time.

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