Sleeping with your mouth open can cause a whole host of health problems, and creepy crawlies are apparently the least of your worries, according to a mattress expert
You may have heard that spiders crawl into your mouth when you sleep, but this isn’t why an expert is urging us to close our gobs.
While the rumour that we swallow eight arachnids each year while sleeping might have haunted you for years, it will no doubt please you to know that it isn’t true. While we sleep we give off a lot of vibration and noise – from breathing to our heartbeats, tossing, turning and snoring – all of which signal to spiders that they should stay clear.
But even so, it turns out it’s still important to keep our moths closed when we sleep. Mouth breathing can cause more problems than just dry mouth and soggy pillows. According to Rebecca Swain, mattress expert at Winstons Beds, sleeping with your mouth open can lead to “bad breath and snoring”.
The reason it can cause bad breath is that mouth breathing affects saliva flow, which usually keeps your mouth clean. It can also cause someone to snore as air hits the back of the throat head, causing enormous vibrations.
But that’s not all. Rebecca added: “Some people think it could be the cause for crooked teeth!”
Researchers have found that mouth breathing can cause serious dental complications. According to a study published by BioMed Research International, those who breathed through their mouth had more plaque on their teeth than those who breathed through their nose.
Chronic mouth breathing can also wreak havoc on your gums, as it can dry out the oral tissues, which may lead to inflammation or irritation. Lastly, a study published in ACTA Otorhinolaryngologica Italica also found that there’s a link between mouth breathing and misalignment of the teeth.
The sleep expert recommends putting a pillow underneath your chin when sleeping on the side to keep your jaw closed.
If that doesn’t help, Dr Roger Henderson previously said: “To help reduce mouth breathing and nasal congestion, use a saline spray or nasal decongestant, sleep on your back with an extra pillow to prop up your head and help promote nasal breathing. Try to keep your house as free of allergens as possible and consciously practice breathing through your nose during the day to help train yourself into a habit of nasal breathing.”
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