Sleeping with mouth open could be as bad for your teeth as a fizzy drink

Research suggests sleeping with your mouth open leads to dangerously high acidity levels

Sleeping with your mouth open can cause as much damage to your teeth as a fizzy drink, a study has found. 

Research published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation suggests people who sleep with their mouth open are putting themselves at a higher risk of tooth decay than people who breathe through their nose when they sleep.

It said saliva naturally prevents the build-up of plaque on your teeth.

Plaque is a ‘biofilm’ – a film of bacteria that coats the teeth and releases acids that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

But sleeping with your mouth open tends to result in waking up with a dry mouth, because less saliva is produced.

The lack of saliva in your mouth while sleeping means more plaque builds up on teeth because the saliva is not there to help keep the growth under control - creating a higher risk of tooth decay. 

The study said a night of sleeping with your mouth open can raise levels of acidity to a 3.6 on the pH scale – which is equivalent of having had a fizzy drink or an orange before bed.