Sleep is very important for everyone, from helping you think clearly, rebuilding vital tissues and cells, and even a good oral health. During the day, there are a lot more opportunities to improve your oral hygiene than night, as during the daytime you can maintain a good oral health by brushing, flossing, and choosing healthy foods. But when you hit your bed, there is plenty that can occur in your mouth overnight and you are not aware of it at all.
Saliva is one of your body’s natural defenses against bacteria. Saliva is what flushes the mouth out during the day, keeping bacteria from stagnating and causing problems. Saliva can kill bacteria and help to break up the protective film, plaque, which bacteria produce to keep saliva away. Saliva is really the warrior on the frontlines protecting your teeth.
Unfortunately for your teeth, as you sleep your saliva production decreases down, giving an ample opportunity for bacteria to proliferate. This is amplified further, if you don’t brush your teeth before bed and allow the bacteria from your food to sit unbothered on your pearly whites.
A significant contributor to your morning breath is bacteria. Bacteria go crazy in your mouth at night. Since you’re not eating at night, they feed on proteins present in your body’s mucous membranes. The breakdown of these proteins within the bacteria creates a chemical reaction that produces sulfur gases inside your mouth causing the bad breath which you experience in the morning. Failing to brush your teeth at the end of the day gives the bad bacteria in your mouth many hours to feast on the debris and release acids that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Sleeping with your mouth open can also cause damage to your teeth. It results in waking up with a dry mouth, because less saliva is produced. Mouth breathing occurs when nasal passages are obstructed due to nasal congestion. It mostly happens during allergy season or when you get a cold.
For relieving chronic nighttime nasal congestion, make nasal strips part of your nightly routine. These nasal strips instantly lift your nasal passages and open your nose to help you breathe better so you can sleep better.
To avoid potential consequences of what goes on in your mouth at night, it’s important that you take proper care of your mouth at night. Brush and floss your teeth at night before bed. Use an antiseptic rinse, if recommended.