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Sleeping and Dental Health

11 Feb 2016

Sleeping and Dental Health


Sleeping is a necessary part of life; we constantly push our bodies to do more and more everyday, so ensuring you get the right amount of sleep each night is essential. The recommended amount of sleep can vary from person to person, but when you are able to get at least 7 hours per night your following day should be pretty good. However, that assumes that you were able to sleep soundly and deeply for those 7 hours.

How do you sleep each night? It can be a hard thing to determine unless you have someone record how you’re sleeping each night so you can analyze it. The benefits of a good night sleep go beyond just feeling energized and refreshed for the next day, but it can have a profound effect on your dental health as well. “A new study has suggested that sleeping with the mouth open can be as damaging to teeth as sipping a fizzy drink before bed. New Zealand’s scientists say breathing through the mouth removes the protective effect of saliva, which has a natural ability to kill the bacteria in the mouth that produce acid.As acid levels rise through the night, tooth erosion and decay can begin. Tooth decay in mouth sleepers is often worse at the back, because the back of the mouth tends to get drier than the front. Medics say patients with asthma are more likely to breathe through the mouth at night.”

How we breathe when we’re sleeping isn’t really up to us since we are essentially unconscious and the body is working on autopilot to maintain breathing during slumber. If you happen to be fighting a cold/have allergies that would stuff up your nose before bed, you will breathe through your mouth while you sleep. Those who are prone to snoring or have sleep apnea or other breathing issues are also more susceptible to the removal of saliva during sleep since they will be breathing through their mouth. If you believe that this may be an issue for you or someone you know, the first thing to do would be to visit a sleep specialist to have your sleep patterns recorded and analyzed. Once you’ve done that, pay your Ottawa dentist a visit to ensure your mouth is in the best shape possible.

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