What Happens in Your Mouth When You Sleep

Have you ever wondered why the state of your mouth changes so fast, within a few hours of sleeping?

Have you ever wondered why this change isn’t as overt when you do not sleep at night, but becomes hard to ignore the moment you sleep, even if just for a few hours? Well, continue reading to have an in-depth understanding of what goes on in your mouth when you sleep.

When human beings sleep, the bacteria in their mouths do not.  This accounts for why you go to bed after brushing your teeth, and upon waking up, you get the sense that something happened in your mouth overnight, leaving it in an unconscionable state. The bacteria in your mouth are naturally occurring. They are known as your mouth’s normal flora. Some of them are symbiotic; they improve your dental health while deriving their nutrients from your mouth. But there are bacteria in your mouth that are harmful, and thus the host—which is you—needs to always keep their activities in check. Despite how numerous these harmful bacteria are, they hardly harm your teeth or tongue because your saliva constantly rinses out the mouth during the day, as evidenced by the fact that you often do not have that furry, stale tasting tongue while you are awake.

When you sleep at night, you do not swallow saliva as frequently as you do during the day or while you are awake because the muscles of your mouth are relaxed.  You will have drooled on your bedcovers or pillows at one point or the other. This is proof that you do not swallow saliva quite as often while sleeping. The stagnancy of saliva does not just facilitate drooling, but also affords the bacteria in your mouth the opportunity to build up. When the bacteria build up, they can breed and multiply rapidly, leading to a lot of health and dental problems. If you have ever had bad breath, an inability to taste food or drinks, a black furry tongue, or a yeast infection of the mouth otherwise known as oral thrush, then you are probably not giving enough attention to your oral hygiene. There are many other complications that arise as a result of the activities of these bacteria in your mouth, which make it imperative that you pay close attention to your oral health.

The solution to these dental health problems is simple: brush your mouth every night before going to bed and upon waking up in the morning. You can also floss your teeth at least once every day, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). It is important to add that you should not neglect your tongue while brushing your teeth, as your tongue acts like a sponge, absorbing the bacteria in your mouth. The process of nourishing ourselves starts in the mouth; a healthy mouth equals a healthy life and a bright smile.

Do not neglect your mouth henceforth.

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Written  by Chidera Duru, Editor-in-Chief, UncutXtra Magazines.

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