Our teeth are best protected when they are in a moist environment. That’s because saliva helps to keep bacteria in check and prevent tooth decay. But if you breathe through your mouth at night, that airway is going to naturally dry your mouth out and can create an environment that’s better suited for bacteria growth. So what can you do to prevent dry mouth when you’re sleeping? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.
Avoiding Dry Mouth While Sleeping
Aside from potential tooth decay, chronic dry mouth can actually affect your ability to produce saliva, and in turn it can affect your ability to taste, chew and swallow your food. So how can you avoid it while you sleep? It may sound simple to suggest that you should just keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose, but we know it’s not always that simple.
If you’re going to breathe through your mouth while you sleep, you should take some steps during the day to help keep your mouth from drying out at night. Some of those steps include:
- Drinking water and staying hydrated throughout the day.
- Chewing sugar-free gum before bed (but not after brushing your teeth), as this helps with saliva production.
- Using mouthwash or toothpaste that is designed to help treat dry mouth.
- Use an artificial saliva product.
- Limit your alcohol or caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon or evening.
- Limit spicy foods, which can make dry mouth worse.
- Give up smoking or tobacco products.
- Change medications that may be causing dry mouth.
- Use a humidifier when you sleep.
- Talk to your doctor or dentist about breathing or snoring issues that may be causing you to breathe through your mouth.
And finally, always be sure to have good dental habits throughout the day. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and consider using mouthwash to keep your mouth clean and hydrated. This way your teeth will be protected throughout the day, and it can help to keep the side effects of dry mouth to a minimum.
So if you or someone you know has been dealing with dry mouth when they sleep, point them in the direction of this webpage or better yet, have them pick up the phone and contact Dr. Brooks for individualized recommendations for preventing dry mouth!