You already know that getting consistently good sleep is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
What you may not know, though, is that your sleeping habits can play a role in your oral health. So in addition to brushing, flossing, and scheduling professional teeth cleanings, getting a good night’s sleep is an effective way to improve your oral health.
Here are a few areas that demonstrate the link between your sleeping habits and your oral health, courtesy of the expert team at Airport Dental Care in Austin, Texas.
Studies show that insufficient sleep increases your risk for gum disease (periodontitis). Gum disease is caused by bacteria that build up in small pockets between the gums and the teeth, leading to inflammation, pain, bleeding, and receding gums.
Your body’s immune system typically can fight off these bacteria. It recharges while you sleep, producing powerful proteins called cytokines that fight infection and inflammation (including gum disease, tooth infection, and tooth decay).
Sleep plays a vital role in keeping your immune system functioning at a high level so it can fight off infections.
While you sleep, your body boosts your cardiovascular system and blood vessels by repairing any damage suffered during the day.
These repairs allow for better blood flow, which means essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphate, and vitamin D are better able to reach your teeth. There, the nutrients strengthen and replenish the enamel that covers your teeth.
People with sleep apnea are more prone to sleep with their mouths open. Sleep apnea can dry out your mouth and leave you with less saliva to neutralize the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria feed on the sugar on your teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s important to determine your best treatment path as soon as possible for the sake of your oral and overall health.
Bruxism occurs when you grind or clench your teeth, a condition that usually affects people while they sleep. Teeth grinding can lead to excessive wear-and-tear on your teeth, tension headaches, jaw pain, and even cracked enamel.
Several treatments can help alleviate bruxism, including wearing a night guard and getting stress management therapy.
If your sleep habits have negatively affected your oral health, Dr. Brian LaBombard and the team at Airport Dental Care can treat your specific issues to put you on the road back to oral health. Call our office or use the online scheduler to book your appointment today.