The Connection between Sleep and Dental Health

Getting enough sleep each night is integral to your overall health and wellbeing, however you may be surprised to learn there is a strong link between sleep and dental health. In this blog, we look at the importance of sleep and how a lack of sleep can be harmful to your oral health.

Sleep fights Infections

Your body does most of its restorative work during sleep, essentially recharging your immune system. While you sleep, your body produces cells dedicated to fighting off infections, and given that your mouth is a breeding ground for (good and bad) bacteria, a lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of an oral infection taking hold.

Sleep restores your teeth

Since your body is busy restoring and repairing cells while you sleep, it makes sense that adequate sleep will help you to better absorb nutrients throughout the day. Calcium and phosphate are essential to bone fortification and well rested bodies will naturally absorb more of these nutrients, leading to healthier bones and teeth.

Sleep disorders have a link to poor oral health

If you suffer from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, your teeth and gums could be getting damaged while you sleep. People who suffer from sleep apnea often experience snoring or sleeping with their mouths open, which can lead to a dry mouth. Since saliva is essential to protecting your mouth from harmful bacteria, those with persistently dry mouths caused by disordered sleep are more likely to develop cavities, gingivitis, and, in the worst-case scenario, periodontitis.

Sleep and bruxism

Bruxism is the habit of unconsciously grinding teeth, usually caused by high stress, misaligned teeth and/or poor sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep each night or suffer from a sleep disorder, look out for symptoms of bruxism like tired or tight jaw muscles, pain or soreness in the jaw, neck, or face, increased tooth pain or sensitivity and/or worn enamel, chips or fractures in your teeth.

The best way to minimise oral health problems associated with poor sleep is, of course, to improve your sleeping habits, however if you suffer from a particular sleep disorder or persistently do not get enough sleep, it’s a good idea to schedule a checkup with your dentist. Eden Rise Dental are your local dental clinic in Berwick and will tend to any dental health issues caused by poor sleep.