Mouth Breathing at Night May Lead to More Dental Cavities
If you breathe through your mouth while sleeping, it could lead to dental issues that include tooth decay and erosion.
Researchers associated these dental issues with "mouth breathing" because breathing through the mouth was associated with greater acidity levels. They believe that the acidity, measured as a lower pH, may be caused by a drier mouth. While a person who breathes through their nose has normal levels of saliva, those who breathe through their mouth have lower levels of saliva. Saliva is important because it helps prevents the pH in your mouth from dropping to more acidic levels.
The researchers noted that pH levels will drop slightly even during normal "nose breathing" sleep. However, there was further drop associated with mouth breathing. At certain stages during mouth breathing sleep, researchers found acidity levels that were sufficiently low to cause decay or erosion of the tooth enamel.
While this was a small study of 10 individuals, the findings support the notion that mouth breathing may be a contributing factor to the erosion of enamel, as well as cavities.
The study was published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation.