If you wake up in the morning with fuzzy teeth, your first thought might be to wonder what alien took up residence in your mouth. A few moments later, after the sleepy disorientation wears off, you realize that your teeth just feel really gross. Then, you’re met with an extremely strong urge to go brush them.
What causes our teeth to feel so gritty, or like they’re “wearing sweaters”. There are a few causes, and it’s not aliens.
Oxalic Acid In other words, mean, green vegetables! Oxalic acid is fine in moderation, but the oxalate crystals coat your teeth while you chew. Spinach, beets, rhubarb, kale, and chocolate are high in oxalic acid.
Plaque When you go all night without eating or brushing, it gives plaque a chance to build up on your teeth without being knocked off. Your saliva production is down as well, so there’s not much moisture in your mouth to wash away the plaque either. One substance that bacteria in your mouth produce is called½ Ready for this?
This adhesive chemical helps the bacteria stick to your teeth! And, it makes your teeth feel fuzzy when you wake up in the morning. Not to mention, a build up of this chemical in your body tissue is bad for your organs, particularly the heart. For those of you wondering how your dental health can impact the rest of your body, mucopolysaccharides are why.
Sugar & Starch Sticky, starchy, sweet foods cling to your teeth while you munch. The sugar is used by plaque to help create tooth decay. By consuming starchy or sugary foods, you’re giving plaque a catalyst to create cavities.
Preventing the Fuzz Now, unless you’re fond of having fuzzy teeth (and cavities), it’s important to get rid of the fuzz on your teeth, whether from oxalic acid or plaque build up. You can get the grit off with some basic hygiene maintenance.
- Flossing – plaque forms in between your teeth, and leafy green vegetables can get stuck there! Get your pearly whites clean again by flossing.
- Drink Water – if you’re chowing down on a spinach salad, drink some water during and afterwards to make sure you get the oxalate crystals off. Water can also help prevent plaque build up throughout the day.
- Brush – brush your teeth, day and night. After lunch, too if you really want to keep your teeth smooth and healthy.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Raymond Jone, Pacific Sky Dental