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Sleeping with Your Mouth Open Can Leave Your Teeth and Gums in Danger

Posted on 6/7/2021 by Office
Sleeping with Your Mouth Open Can Leave Your Teeth and Gums in DangerSleeping with your mouth open can lead to some serious dental problems. That is because you are breathing through your mouth – an activity that can lead to a condition known as xerostomia or dry mouth.

Why Mouth Breathing is Hazardous

People who leave their mouths open when the sleep easily dry out their mouth, which promotes the build-up of plaque and bad bacteria. If you do not have enough of a saliva flow, it is difficult to remineralize teeth that have become demineralized because of acids. When this occurs, you will experience more tooth erosion and decay. You need the extra saliva to wash away plaque and small bits of food as well as support remineralization.

Why People Breathe Through Their Mouth

People can breathe through their mouth for one of several reasons. Some people suffer from nasal and sinus congestion. Others may be experiencing sleep apnea. Patients with longer and narrower faces may also breathe through the mouth. The way we treat the condition will depend on the underlying causes for the condition. Breathing through the nose is often healthier, as the nose contains nitric oxide, which improve the ability of the lungs to receive oxygen.

Treatments for Mouth Breathing

Adhesive strips may be applied to the nose's bridge to assist in breathing through the nose. Another name for the strips is an airflow dilator. For patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a face mask, called a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) device may be worn. Sleep apnea happens when a patient snores and stops breathing for several minutes at a time. We may also recommend orthodontic treatment, or a palatal expander, to open up the palate, to accommodate a better air flow.

We often make a diagnosis for mouth breathing, after other symptoms emerge, such as bad breath cavities, hoarseness, or gum disease. If you suspect your dental problems are stemming from mouth breathing at night, give us a call. Schedule an appointment for a consultation and exam.
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Dr. Tania Tran has provided this educational blog as a resource for the community. We hope that this blog will cover subjects you may be interested in. Call us!
Grove Street Family Dentistry - Tania Tran, DMD, 1533 Grove Street, Marysville, WA 98270-4325, (360) 659-3200,, 5/25/2024, Related Terms: dentist,