There are thousands of people around the world who sleep with their mouths open. Looks like it has many side effects, including deterioration of teeth!
They believe the damage to the teeth while sleeping with an open mouth is equivalent to that caused by drinking a soda before sleeping. This is because breathing with the mouth makes it dry. As the result of this dryness, the protective layer of saliva, that is efficient in killing the bacteria which produces acid, is no more available.
The increased levels of acid in the mouth leads to the rotting and decaying of the denticles. Dentists confirmed the findings of the new study, saying that most of their patients with enamel erosion are those who sleep with an open mouth.
Most of the time, people who suffer from asthma, sleep apnoea, etc., are the ones who cannot breathe through their nose while sleeping. It has also been observed that the back of such people’s mouth is severely affected. It often perishes faster than the front teeth because the mouth is drier at the end.
The research published in Journal of Oral Rehabilitation reveals the difference between the pH level in mouth of a person sleeping under normal conditions and otherwise. The acidity level in normal conditions is said to be a neutral level of 7.7, which decreases to 6.6 when a person sleeps with an open mouth.
There were certain cases in which the acidity levels had risen to 3.6! This is a very high level of acidity that is subject to deterioration of teeth enamel. It is equivalent to drinking a glass of orange juice before going to bed. According to the study, men are affected by this disorder more than women. Only 5% of women suffer from this sleeping disorder whereas men tend to take every third breath with their mouth instead of their nose.
Sleep analyst, Joanne Choi from Otago University in New Zealand, has formulated a device with the help of her peers. It can be attached to the teeth while sleeping, and helps in recording the levels of acidity. This recorded data can then be examined in a computer.
Previously, scientists used to measure the acidity levels by waking people up. The results of this test were not authentic, as the sudden jerk to wake up caused the heart to pump faster and the rhythm of the body changed abruptly.
Joanne asked 10 volunteers to use a nose clamp while sleeping. The nose clamp would force them to breathe with their mouth. The next night, it was noticed that individuals who were at least 25 years old could easily sleep without the clamp.
She concluded saying: ” This study is the first to continuously monitor intra-oral pH changes in healthy individuals over several days. Our findings support the idea that mouth-breathing may indeed be a causal factor for dental diseases such as enamel erosion and caries.”