If you wake up with a dry mouth, you may be breathing through your mouth while you sleep. If so, you should know that nighttime mouth-breathing has been linked with an increased risk of dental erosion and tooth decay. The problem is that breathing through your mouth dries up saliva, which plays a vital role in preserving dental health. As saliva levels drop, the oral environment becomes increasingly acidic, which leads to loss of tooth enamel through erosion (the direct effect of acid without the influence of bacteria) and tooth decay (the effect of bacteria breaking down foods to produce acid). Mouth-breathing and dry mouth should be brought to the attention of your dentist, who can recommend treatment.
A dentist can check for mouth-breathing symptoms. If the face and mouth are narrow, dentists can use expansion appliances to help widen the sinuses and open nasal airway passages. At West Brookfield Dental, located at 9 West Main St., West Brookfield, we make it a point to get to know you and your family’s specific dental needs. It’s important to us. Please call 508.867.2777 to schedule an appointment. Having nice-looking teeth gives a boost to health and happiness.
P.S. Researchers found that pH levels (a measure of acidity/alkalinity) of mouth-breathers dropped to 3.6, which is well below the 5.5 threshold at which tooth enamel begins to break down.11