Your Mouth At Night

Your Mouth At Night

Have you ever wondered what happens in our mouth whilst we sleep?

Almost from the moment that we wake up in the morning, our mouth is always on the go. Whether eating, drinking or simply speaking to others, it rarely stops working. So, at night, when we sleep, you would imagine that it simply rests with nothing happening until we wake in the morning. This is not the case though.

A number of things happen in our mouth whilst we sleep, and, as you will see, having fresher smelling breath is not the only reason that we should clean our teeth in the morning.

A ‘gooey’ mouth

Have you ever woken up with the unpleasant feeling of having a sticky gooey substance in your mouth and wondered what was causing it? If so, you probably won’t be pleased to hear that this is, in fact, a collection of bacteria that has grown overnight. It isn’t a pleasant feeling and does give a certain encouragement to brush our teeth sooner, rather than later. Generally, this ‘goo’ or plaque as it is known, increases when we have a dry mouth, perhaps through dehydration or through drinking and smoking. If this happens on a relatively regular basis, the risk of gum disease is heightened and a thorough inspection by the hygienist at the Foxhall Dental Practice is recommended.

Bad breath

Whilst some foods can leave you with bad breath in the morning; if yours is persistent, this may be due to the increased bacteria that eat away at food debris and even the soft tissue of the gum. As they do so, they expel gases and it is often this that is the cause of smelly morning breath.


Whilst the above problem can be rectified with better cleaning and staying well hydrated, there is another problem which is less easy to resolve and which happens overnight, and that is teeth grinding.

There may be a number of reasons why this happens, but it is largely thought to be due to stress. Whilst anti grinding guards can be provided, it is better to address the long term causes of the stress, where possible. Bruxism, or teeth grinding can wear down enamel on the teeth, or even break them if done with sufficient force. If you are conscious of doing this, we recommend that you discuss this with one of our Ipswich dentists who will be able to provide advice as to how best to address the problem.

On the whole, night time should be a time to relax and not to worry about our oral health. Making sure that you keep your mouth clean through regular brushing, flossing and visits to our Ipswich dental clinic should help you to do this. Make sure to keep your appointments which can be made by ringing the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396.