Could something as simple as breathing through your mouth while sleeping cause dental problems for you down the road? According to the results of a recent study, breathing through your mouth contributes to creating the type of environment in your oral cavity that encourages bacteria growth and tooth decay. As you read on, your dentist in Greenfield explains what causes this and how to prevent tooth decay and other oral maladies by correcting your nighttime mouth breathing.
The Problem with Mouth Breathing
If your mouth is open all night while you sleep, then its natural bacteria-fighting capability is hindered. Your oral cavity, in its optimal working condition, maintains the right ratio of saliva to help sustain a healthy pH level.
The participants in the study were fitted with a device that continuously monitored the pH level in their mouths. The researchers found that on the nights when the participants breathed normally through their noses, their pH levels were normal, but on the mouth breathing nights, some of the recorded levels were significantly lower (more acidic) than normal.
The Dangers of an Overly Acidic Mouth
When the mouth becomes too acidic and dry, more bacteria are attracted to it. As they fester and grow, they can develop into plaque, a sticky, clear substance that clings to teeth and releases caustic chemicals that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
How to Prevent Mouth Breathing
The last thing you want to do is contribute to an unhealthy mouth, so here are some tips to help to prevent this condition:
- Saline – Using saline and sprays helps to prevent any drainage that could contribute to mouth breathing.
- Sleep Position – You can also try sleeping on your back with your head elevated to open your airways and promote nasal breathing.
- Cleanliness – Maintaining a clean house also helps to reduce allergens that could cause a flare-up.
- HVAC Maintenance – It also helps to make sure that you have fresh air filters installed in your HVAC system to help prevent the spread of allergens.
Pose Away the Mouth Breathing
A final contributor to mouth breathing is stress. Thankfully, there are a host of holistic methods you can use to correct the problem – one of which is yoga. The meditative nature of the process can help to settle your excited nerves and better train your body to transport oxygen through the nose.
Now that you’re more knowledgeable of the importance of how you breathe when sleeping, you can take the steps to correct any issues that you may be having, so that you can get the quality of rest that you desire. Reach out to your family dentist in Greenfield to schedule a visit today.
About the Author
Dr. William Carini earned his dental degree from Marquette University School of Dentistry. Over his nearly 30-year career, he’s helped countless patients maintain the type of dental health that they desire and need. Dr. Carini treats patients at Advanced Dental Treatment Center and can be reached for more information through his website.