Sleeping with the mouth open is a common occurrence among people of all ages. Some experience it during childhood, some later, but it is normal. The problem starts when you tend to breathe through your mouth rather than through the nose in your sleep. Mouth breathing can cause all kinds of problems, and it might be the reason to visit your doctor or even a dentist.
Sleep apnea can cause this problem, but another quite unusual reason behind sleeping issues can be oral health. People are often surprised when they hear this, but your dentist could be able to help you alleviate this problem, and teeth braces can fix many issues that cause mouth breathing.
What Causes Sleeping With Your Mouth Open?
Having a good night’s rest is important, but so is the way you sleep. Humans breathe in two ways — through the nose or mouth. However, it has been proven that our bodies are healthier if we breathe through our noses.
When we breathe through the nose, the little hairs inside help filter any potentially harmful substances, such as dust and microorganisms, and the mucous membrane humidifies the air that comes in. Comparatively, mouth breathing can dry out the throat and cause many other problems.
Even babies sometimes breathe through their mouths. Their noses can get stuffy, and they can’t clean them themselves. However, kids learn to clean their noses by the time they reach school age, so this is not a big issue.
When we’re down with an allergy, flu, severe fatigue, and other ailments, it is normal to sleep with an open mouth, and the main reason behind this phenomenon is that our tired bodies seek more oxygen. Also, people with asthma or a chronic and recurring sinus infection tend to breathe through their mouths as their nose is often clogged and full of mucus.
Stressful situations, eating before going to bed, and sleep apnea can cause this problem as well. When you sleep with your mouth open, you can experience mouth dryness and wake up during the night to drink water, which can result in poor sleep. These issues shouldn’t worry you unless they are persistent. However, if they keep happening, they may cause a wide range of health problems and dental issues.
How Sleeping With an Open Mouth Can Harm Your Health
Proper breathing is vital for your health and well-being. It’s also important that you breathe through your nose more than through your mouth. If you are primarily a mouth breather, you can experience:
- Reduced sleep quality
- Sleep fragmentation
- Sinus and nasal congestion
- Open mouth snoring
- Waking up with a dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath and periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis and tooth cavities
Mouth breathing may result in high blood pressure and heart failure. It is also connected with low levels of oxygen in the blood. Studies show this issue may also worsen the symptoms of asthma and decrease lung function.
When mouth breathing is not treated in children, it can lead to cognitive challenges and physical problems.
How Can Your Orthodontist Help You?
Fixing misaligned teeth or an irregular bite and helping your self-esteem are the main reasons for visiting an orthodontist and getting dental braces. But how can braces help you with your mouth breathing problem? It may come as a surprise to some, but oral health is closely connected to sleeping issues. A good pair of dental braces can be key to helping you sleep better.
Orthodontic treatments are often at the core of treating various sleep problems. Patients with irregular bites are more prone to snoring, and this issue is caused by mouth breathing. Snoring is harmful both for you and the loved ones sleeping near you. However, orthodontics can correct your bite and fix the problem.
Luckily, there are many different kinds of dental braces today. From traditional metal braces to ceramic or clear aligners, there are numerous options. If you buy metal bracket braces, which are most common since they’re the most affordable, they can come with brackets in various colors so that you can have a colorful smile while you are taking care of your dental and sleeping issues.
Is Sleeping With Your Mouth Open Connected to Wearing Dental Braces?
Even though many patients start to experience mouth breathing while they are wearing braces, the braces themselves don’t cause it. They take more space in your mouth, and it may take some time to adjust. However, that is not the reason why you are sleeping with your mouth open.
Your mouth can get irritated easily, even when you chew a piece of gum for too long. When irritated, your mouth can produce less saliva, and that can cause the feeling of dryness and the need to breathe with an open mouth, both during the day or at night. You can fix this problem with proper hydration.
If you are used to salty food and chewing gums, and you don’t drink enough water, it can cause your mouth to get dry. If you are a smoker and a heavy coffee consumer or you drink a lot of alcohol, it is most likely that you will wake up with a dry mouth. You may think your braces are the problem, but they are not.
You may have problems sleeping with braces only for a few days until you get used to them. They don’t cause long-term mouth breathing. Try to change your diet and your drinking habits. Drink less coffee and stop smoking, and this will help you during the orthodontic process and benefit your entire body.
When you get rid of your braces and get a healthy and beautiful smile, you will have whiter teeth and won’t sleep with your mouth open.