We don’t really have much control over what our bodies do while we sleep – snoring, kicking our partner and hogging the blanket are all proof of this! However, there is one common sleep habit that could be causing serious problems for our teeth: sleeping without our mouths open.
According to new research from New Zealand, sleeping with your mouth open could be eroding your teeth – even causing as much damage as consuming a fizzy drink right before bed.
Saliva plays a crucial role in eliminating the bacteria that produces harmful acid, and when we sleep with our mouths open, it completely dries our saliva stores out. This causes a build-up of acid, which works away at our teeth, eroding them and causing decay.
The study, published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, states that the normal pH level of the mouth should stand firm at a neutral 7.7. The team’s observations showed, however, that their subjects who slept with their mouths open had an acidic average of 6.6. In some of the more extreme cases, the pH levels rose to 3.6.
Previous studies have found that those who sleep with their mouths open have higher levels of tooth decay, and lead researcher Joanna Choi and her team believe that their study supports this. They have also just designed a new device to help tackle the problem.
SHARE if you or a loved one fall into this unfortunate category.