Do you often breathe through your mouth while you sleep? This is a problem that can put your teeth at unnecessary risk. According to a research team at the University of Otago, Dunedin, in New Zealand, leaving your mouth open while sleeping is subjecting your tooth enamel to dangerous levels of acid. Participants wore a device that monitored the acidity of their mouths during the night, and it was found that sleeping with your mouth open brings your pH down as low as 3.6. When you consider that your enamel begins to break down at a pH of 5.5, this is a truly problematic figure.
The problem is that your mouth needs saliva to defend it from decay and, while your saliva production is already down when you sleep, it dries out all the more if you let your mouth hang open. So, if you frequently wake up with a dry mouth or a sore throat, you may want to look for ways to keep your mouth closed. Talk to our Federal Way dentistry clinic to learn more about how to defend your mouth from decay.