Do you sleep with your mouth open? It could be wreaking havoc on your health 25



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We all know snoring is terrible for our health but what you may not have known is simply sleeping with your mouth open could also be doing you a disservice.

New research has found sleeping with your mouth open may promote decay and weakening of the teeth. A widened mouth can be as acidic as if you had just drunk a glass of orange juice, according to dental researchers.

Otago University post-graduate student Joanne Choi and colleagues experimented with 10 healthy volunteers by sometimes attaching a nose clip that made them breathe through their mouths.

The participants also had a small device clipped to their teeth to measure acidity and temperature and transmit the data to an external recorder.

The study, published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, showed acidity increased slowly in everyone’s mouths during sleep, but increased more over a longer period when participants were forced to mouth-breathe.

“This study is the first to continuously monitor intra-oral pH changes in healthy individuals over several days,” says Ms Choi. “Our findings support the idea that mouth-breathing may indeed be a causal factor for dental diseases such as enamel erosion and caries.”

Ms Choi says the study helps to explain the observation of dentists that people who tend to sleep with their mouths open have higher rates of tooth decay.

To prevent mouth breathing at night, you can:

  • See a doctor about your sinuses or take medication to stop a cold of flu that may be blocking your nose
  • Use a nasal saline spray to clear your nasal passages, if they’re feeling especially blocked
  • Remove known allergens from your home, and especially your bed
  • Get regular exercise and focus on breathing through your nose

Tell us your thoughts below.


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  1. God what else is going to finish us off. I don’t know what I’m doing while I’m asleep. I think I snore a little now as I’m getting older but there’s only me in room besides the dog ,who snores also, so I’m not worrying anyone else. Load of rubbish. Somethings got kill us,ha.

  2. I sleep with my mouth open, because as a child I suffered badly from sinus. Even now, when I lay down on the bed, I am ok for a little while breathing threw my nose, but then it all blocks up and so I sleep with my mouth open.

  3. I don’t know whether I do or not because I am asleep and cannot see me! It is no more dangerous than a 30 year old over weight male who gets drunk every weekend sleeping with his mouth open and risking choking on vomit, but who will probably live to be 80. I am not even going to read it because, as Others below me here say, it’s nonsense.
    I have heard the 100% of people who eat bread will die…fancy that!

  4. Don’t snore ,don’t eat salads , don’t have tea.not too much coffee, and watch out for your intake of water as too much is as bad as not enough…
    Who researches this rubbish ????

  5. That’s why I have a c-pap machine but as Robyn Jones says – everything you eat seems to cause cancer – solution – don’t eat anything – oh that’s right you might not die of cancer but you would die!!!! Stupid

  6. Sleeping with mouth open, I’d be more worried about a creepy crawly going in 🐜

    3 REPLY
    • According to some research I read about once we do have creepy crawlies going in. It said that on average we swallow 8 spiders every night while we sleep. My question is – how would anyone know this?

    • Sue Rogers my question is how on earth am I going to sleep tonight with that bit of extra knowledge…
      Who researches this rubbish.

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