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Nighttime Mouth Breathing Could Increase Your Cavity Risk

Posted on 4/10/2016 by Fady Ebid
A man breathing through his mouth suffering from sleep apnea.A recent study has indicated that if you have a habit of breathing through your mouth while you sleep, you could be putting your teeth at risk of decay. This research was completed at the University of Otago in New Zealand, after dentists reported an increase of patients who were complaining of dry mouth when they wake up or during sleep.

What Happens during Nighttime Mouth Breathing?

Breathing through your mouth while you are asleep will cause your saliva to dry up. Unfortunately, this is bad news because saliva is the body's primary defense mechanism when it comes to preventing the mouth from decay and cavities.

It keeps the mouth lubricated in order to remove bacteria and food particles, and it also ensures that the mouth environment doesn't become too acidic. When the mouth becomes too dry, you could be at a higher risk of erosion, cavities, and decay than people who have normal levels of saliva.

How Does Mouth Breathing Affect Acidity?

In this study, volunteers wore a device that continuously measured the temperature and pH in their mouths. They wore the sensors for 48 hours, and while sleeping, they used nose clips to force them to breathe through the mouth.

The results showed that the average pH of the mouth was 7.3 during the day, but it fell to 7.0 at night. With mouth breathing, the mean pH fell to 6.6, although at some points in the night it fell to about 3.6. This showed that the mouth became more acidic during the evening when participants were forced to mouth breathe.

These findings show importance in a few key areas. First, staying hydrated to prevent dry mouth is essential. Secondly, brushing the teeth before bed is crucial so that the bacteria found in your mouth are not able to thrive and breed in a dry environment.

Are you concerned about dry mouth, especially overnight? Contact our dental office today!

Preparing For Your Visit
We look forward to meeting you and working with you to achieve full dental health. We ask that you complete your Patient Forms a minimum of two days prior to your scheduled appointment with Lake Pointe Dental - Marietta. This allows our front office team to fully prepare your dental insurance benefits for a comprehensive consultation.

Questions? Please feel welcome to call or email us for assistance.

Lake Pointe Dental Marietta

1880 W Oak Pkwy, Suite 215
Marietta, GA 30062


Open: Mo-Th 9- 5, Fr 9-2

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1880 W Oak Pkwy, Suite 215, Marietta, GA 30062



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