The Dangers of Eating before Bed without Brushing Your Teeth

General & Cosmetic Dentist serving Hoboken, Jersey City & Hudson County areas of New Jersey


A snack right before bed may seem relatively harmless, but the dangers to your teeth and gums are real if you don’t brush afterward. Bacterial development is an ongoing process in your mouth, and if this natural cycle is not kept in check, acidic conditions increase that can damage tooth enamel and gum tissue. Regular dental cleanings in our Hoboken office are important, but good oral hygiene has to start at home.

Good dental hygiene reduces the microbes in your mouth and helps carry away their waste products that can build up into unhealthy plaque. Even after you brush, some bacteria remain that will continue to multiply until your next dental cleaning, so brushing is always an ongoing process. With the addition of food particles, the bacteria get a serious boost and can grow unchecked for hours while you sleep. Residual sugars and food favor the development of harmful bacteria that are more detrimental and produce higher acidity. In addition, your second line of defense, saliva, is reduced while you sleep, so particles may linger much longer while you are sleeping than if you skip brushing during the day.

The colonization of acid producing bacteria can be seriously detrimental to your oral health. If you neglect to brush your teeth right before bed, the conditions are right for gum disease and other common dental problems to develop over time. Because your oral health is so closely linked to your overall wellbeing, forgetting to brush after a late snack can eventually lead to serious health problems.

Please contact the Practice at Maxwell Place using the form on the right side of the page or call 201-792-9400 today to schedule a dental checkup and cleaning. Dr. Frank DePaola serves patients in Hoboken, Jersey City, and throughout Hudson County, New Jersey.