Sleep and Your Oral Health
A difficult night’s sleep can lead to a long day, and studies have found relationships between total hours of sleep, sleep quality, and overall health.
However, you might not know that your sleep can actually affect your teeth and oral health, and when certain issues arise, a trip to the dentist is essential.
One of the greatest oral health concerns involved with sleep is bruxism – or grinding the teeth. Dentists and researchers don’t know exactly what causes some people to grind their teeth at night, but certain factors like medications, stress, anxiety, and dental problems could all be contributors. When you clench and grind your teeth in your sleep, you could develop cracks, chips, and breakage, and you might even experience decay as a result of acid erosion.
Unfortunately, when you clench and grind your teeth, your problems aren’t restricted to just your mouth. Many people with this problem suffer from headaches and pain in the facial region. Additionally, you could notice your face aging faster than normal if your teeth are shortened or otherwise damaged.
Sleep apnea is a potentially fatal disorder that disrupts the sleep, and snoring is a top sign. Sleep apnea and snoring also cause dry mouth, and without an adequate saliva supply in your mouth, tooth decay could occur. This is because saliva plays an important role in our oral health, as it cleanses and rinses the teeth.
This can minimize the accumulation of plaque while washing away food particles and neutralizing acids. Without this saliva, you would be at a greater risk for tooth decay, and that’s exactly what happens when sleep apnea causes your mouth to dry out.
If you are suffering from a sleep problem that might be affecting your oral health, give our office a call. We can evaluate your condition and work to find an effective treatment option.