Why not sleep while breathing with your mouth open?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
On the bed, everyone can have their little flaw.
Sleep does not really happen in the same way for all people.
While some adopt rather strange positions, others tend to sleep with their mouths open.
Several reasons can explain this phenomenon, which we observe in many people.
They are diverse and sometimes quite specific.
Still, the consequences on oral health, of such a habit, can be very harmful.
However, there are some simple and practical tips that can be employed to help overcome this complex, but not overwhelming, problem.
What are the factors behind this phenomenon?
Cases of people sleeping with their mouths open are quite common.
Some have ended up making it a bad habit.
Others, on the other hand, contracted it because of a binding pathology.
Regardless of the nature of the problem, sleeping with your mouth open poses high risks to oral health.
In the long run, this habit can affect the body’s metabolism and create other, unwanted complications.
The worst part is that most of those who develop it are not aware of its harmfulness.
For many, it’s a benign habit, which can go away overnight.
Having the right information on this phenomenon can help fight it effectively, or even get rid of it.
How to explain this phenomenon?
Several factors can explain the development of this phenomenon in individuals who suffer from it.
While it is true that many have made it a bad habit, sleeping with an open mouth remains a public health concern.
This phenomenon is particularly observed in people, showing snoring or suffering from certain pathologies, such as the common cold or sinusitis.
It happens that people who are a little too exposed to pollution regularly sleep with their mouths open.
Food can also have something to do with it.
There is also the stress which can explain the occurrence of this phenomenon.
At first glance, these reasons given may seem strange, but let’s try to understand them better.
Some individuals, aware of the persistence of this habit, at home, show no discomfort.
For this category of people, sleeping with your mouth open is even considered a character trait.
Something completely, natural, that you can’t do without.
The problem with these people is that they don’t know they are turning their bodies into dumping grounds for toxins.
Those, on the other hand, sleep with their mouths open, due to a pathology that affects the nasal respiratory tract, do so involuntarily.
By opening their mouths to sleep, people with colds, for example, may experience some relief.
Because the nasal passages are blocked, it is difficult to breathe through the nose.
The alternative that is immediately considered is to open your mouth, to allow air to enter the body, during sleep.
This attitude seems much more understandable.
Except, that it, too, is no less harmful to oral health.
The phenomenon is also observed in people, who develop related habits, which negatively influence sleep.
Stress, for example, is a factor that can generate mucus, which will help obstruct the nasal passages.
Unconsciously, anxiety can therefore have a negative impact on the course of sleep.
The individual is breathing heavily.
And, to relieve himself, he opens his mouth to let the air circulate.
In these people, the main blockage comes from the overworking of the mind, overwhelmed by a flood of overflowing thoughts.
Poor diet can also be a trigger for sleep with your mouth open.
This specifically concerns those who have an excessively fatty diet.
Fat, produced by lipids, is known to clog the airways.
This explains why, many individuals in this situation, regularly sleep with their mouths open.
One of the best known causes is snoring.
People who snore usually sleep with their mouths open.
This phenomenon also results from the difficulties that these individuals can experience in breathing normally.
There are many different causes for snoring, but for the most part, excess weight is the main cause.
Breathing through the mouth is a common practice in people with asthma.
This allows them in particular to avoid being suffocated by lack of ventilation of the body.
Which is, moreover, not recommended.
What are the repercussions on oral health?
What is often overlooked is that cultivating this habit can be very detrimental to your health.
During sleep, a person who sleeps with his mouth open is exposed to infections.
Over time, tooth enamel deteriorates and cavities can appear in the mouth.
The risk of dry throat
Mouth breathing dries up the throat, researchers say.
This is all the more dangerous as the mouth must constantly remain moist for good oral hygiene.
In fact, saliva serves to protect tooth enamel.
Therefore, it plays an important role in protecting teeth against bacteria and acidic substances, which affect teeth and gums.
Regular exposure of the open mouth to ambient air therefore increases the risk of reduced saliva.
The appearance of bacteria
However, the air is known to harbor toxic substances, which on entering the body, become lodged in dental plaques.
This permanent stagnation of bacteria in the enamel can quickly cause serious infections, which will lead to disease.
Some people will be surprised to suffer from dental caries, without being heavy consumers of treats.
Some tips to remedy this
There are, however, simple methods that can be used to avoid prolonging this clearly damaging situation.
The first tip to avoid sleeping with your mouth open is to lie on your back less and less.
Sleeping on your back naturally promotes snoring and therefore keeps your mouth open during sleep.
Then, it is advisable to sleep in a ventilated room.
The presence of air, in large quantities in a room, helps to improve the respiratory faculties.
It is therefore recommended to pay particular attention to this.
Some devices used to purify the ambient air are available on the market.
In addition, essential oils can also contribute to cleaner air.
You also have to adopt good habits.
However, for people suffering from stress, psychopathological treatment could help recondition the airflow in the body.
Those who follow a diet, deliberately fatty, should review their diet, to effectively unclog the airways.