Sleeping with your mouth open isn’t doing any favors for your oral health. Here, leading dentists detail six reasons why you should sleep with your mouth closed. In a world in which stressful situations seem perpetually on the rise, it’s important to rest up to be as prepared as possible for whatever the day has in store. While committing to a full night’s sleep is a great place to start, it’s important to think about how you sleep too. Sure, your bodily sleep position may come into play, but it gets even more focused than that. Ready for it? The position of your mouth makes a difference. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to learn six reasons why keeping your mouth closed is essential for smarter sleep.
Why It’s Better to Sleep With Your Mouth ClosedBelow, dental experts share six benefits of sleeping with your mouth closed.
1. It improves oral hydration + prevents dental hygiene issuesDid you know that your saliva production slows down when you sleep? For this reason, NYC-based dentist Jennifer Jablow, DDS, explains that if you sleep with your mouth open, it can become incredibly dry. Not only is that uncomfortable but, according to Dr. Jablow, it can lead to an acidic oral environment. This can lead to cavities, as well as an increased risk for gum problems. Yikes!
2. It helps prevent bad breathWhen you sleep with your mouth open, you’re welcoming mouth breathing into your routine. And there’s a reason why the kids in Stranger Things use the term “mouth breather” as an insult. According to dentist and Spotlight Oral Care co-founder Dr. Vanessa Creaven, mouth breathing leads to bad breath. Wondering how? It dehydrates the mouth and promotes a happy environment for odor-producing bacteria.
3. It promotes proper dental formation in childrenDental structure is constantly changing from childhood to adolescence. Since leaving it open can lead to permanent skeletal irregularities, Dr. Creaven says it’s especially important to sleep with your mouth closed. “This is primarily linked to the growth that is seen in the upper jaw versus that of the lower jaw,” she explains. Dr. Creaven continues to say that it may eventually contribute a more visible gum line when you smile.
4. It prevents snoringLess permanent but still notable, sleeping with your mouth closed puts an end to loud sleeping. While this may not seem like a dealbreaker for solo sleepers, Dr. Jablow says that snoring can become a source of distress for bedside partners and lead to daytime fatigue and lethargy from poor sleep. So, if not for yourself, sleep with your mouth closed for your bed mate’s sake.
5. It supports oxygen absorptionWhen you breathe through your mouth, you absorb all the tiny dirt and debris particles living in the air. However, when you breathe through your nose, NYC-based dentist Brian Kantor, DDS, says the air is filtered. “When air passes through the mouth, the means by which your body absorbs oxygen is less efficient, which can lead to poor sleep quality and lower energy levels throughout the day,” he explains.
6. It Can Help Prevent bloatingLastly, breathing with your mouth open could actually be to blame for feeling bloated. “Breathing through your mouth at night allows pockets of air to irregularly pass into the stomach, causing abdominal bloating, intestinal pain, and excessive burping and belching,” Dr. Kantor explains. So, if the goal is to feel less bloated, consider looking at your sleep habits just as much as your food and bev choices.
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