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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6015
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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I wake up in the am with a white sticky film on the inside ...

Resolved Question:

I wake up in the am with a white sticky film on the inside of my mouth. What is the cause?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  replied 9 years ago.
Dear Customer

The lining of the mouth is constantly renewing itself-- as fresh new tissue is created at the deeper layers of the cheeks, tongue, palate, lips, and floor of mouth, the surface layers slough off, and are carried away by the mechanical action of normal oral movement, salivary flow, and swallowing. During sleep, all three of these cleansing factors are diminished, which impairs the dispersal of these sloughed tissues. Some people mouth breathe during sleep as well, which further reduces moisture to a level insufficient to carry away tissue debris. This is the most common reason for a white coating on the mouth on awakening. This effect can be accentuated by any factor that contributes to diminished saliva flow-- dehydration, salivary gland disease, or medication.

There are other conditions that can cause a white film to develop in the mouth, but the films resulting from these disorders are more persistent, and are found throughout the day rather than just on arising. That is why I suspect that your complaint represents a harmless and normal condition. However, to be sure, you should have your dentist assess your oral tissues at your next regular checkup.

Hope this helps...
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