Why Do You Have White Sticky Film in Your Mouth in the Morning?

Brushing your teeth in the morning is always a good idea, but some people are more eager to do so after finding sticky white film in their mouth or on their lips. If this happens to you, it may be putting your dental health at risk. Here's what you should know about it and how to combat its effects. 

What it Is

Believe it or not, what's forming in your mouth overnight is actually a form of plaque. Dental plaque isn't completely restricted to forming on the teeth and gums. It can form elsewhere in the mouth, too, and when there's an excess of it, it can end up stuck to the insides of your cheeks, under your lips, or can even fall out of your mouth if you're a mouth breather in the night.

Why it Forms

Of course, everyone's mouth grows some plaque while they're sleeping. Despite best efforts to brush and floss, some small amount of bacteria will always survive and can start producing plaque as a result. Making sure to maintain good oral hygiene at night can help, but it's not necessarily a full solution.

This type of plaque typically forms because people are experiencing dry mouth. Dry mouth is just a condition where less saliva is produced in the mouth than usual. For people who have dry mouth due to medications, what they eat or even dehydration, excess plaque can form. Saliva helps to wash away bacteria, even at night, but without enough of it, bacteria can thrive and make more plaque.

What to Do

Unfortunately, this type of plaque can be a problem for your oral health just like any other. At the very least, you should always brush your teeth in the morning to clear away any plaque that's formed overnight. However, there are also extra steps you can and should take. If you're dehydrated, that's the first thing you should address. Always drink enough water over the course of the day. However, that may not be enough on its own to stop the problem.

If you're taking medication that has dry mouth as a side effect, you can talk to your doctor about potentially changing your medication. However, sometimes this isn't possible. If you can't change your medicine or continue to have the problem, you should visit a dentist. They can not only address any damage that's been done to your mouth by the abundance of plaque, but they can also provide you with medication or mouthwash that helps to maintain moisture overnight while you sleep. This can reduce the amount of plaque that you develop and keep your teeth and gums healthier. Contact a dental office like Apollo Dental Center for more information.