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Giri Palani, DDS, FICOI
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Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-1434
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Open Mouth Sleeping Can Increase Tooth Decay


Posted on 10/25/2016 by Giri Palani
A man suffering from sleep apnea snoring loudly.
During a study of people who slept with their mouths open, researchers discovered that those who nearly always slept with an open mouth were at a higher risk of developing problems with their teeth.

Not only were the levels of acids in their mouth much higher than those who slept with their mouths closed, those who slept with their mouths closed also were less likely to get cavities and other types of tooth decay.

Benefits of Sleeping with Your Mouth Closed

If you wake up each morning with a dry mouth, there is a good chance that you are sleeping at night with your mouth wide open. This is going to not only dry out your oral tissues, but also leave your mouth less likely to fight off the issues that cause tooth decay.

Your mouth needs saliva consistently washing over your teeth to help neutralize any acids that are in your mouth, plus, that saliva washes off anything that you may have missed from brushing and flossing. Without that consistent washing, your teeth become far more susceptible to decay and enamel erosion.

For people who struggle with sleeping in a way that leaves their mouth open, consider trying to fall asleep in a different position than normal. The more you are able to sleep on your side or your stomach, the less likely you are to sleep with your mouth open.

This protects your mouth more than if you kept sleeping in the same way, and may even improve the quality of sleep you get as open-mouth breathing is often associated with snoring or sleep apnea.

Call our office to make sure that your teeth are safe from how you have been sleeping, and ask him or her to help you keep your oral health as high as possible while you learn to sleep in a new position.

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