We all know how important it is to get the right amount and quality of sleep. A lack of sleep can lead to chronic health issues, anxiety, depression and generally feeling unable to properly function day-to-day. But, did you know that not getting proper sleep can also affect your teeth? In this blog entry, Dr. Harrison, the orthodontist at Parkcrest Dental Group, offers up some surprising facts about how sleep impacts your dental health. Keep reading for more information from Dr. Harrison about healthy sleep habits, and to contact us about orthodontic dentistry.
Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress are often causes of sleep issues. Unfortunately, a lack of sleep often leads to more anxiety, just making the situation worse. What isn’t often talked about is the kind of effect this has on your teeth. One of the common issues seen by Dr. Harrison is damage and misalignment caused by teeth grinding, especially while patients are asleep. Nighttime teeth grinding is a common symptom of anxiety.
The less sleep you get, the more stressed you feel, and the more likely you are to be grinding your teeth when you do manage to sleep. If you’re waking up with jaw and tooth pain, it’s time to talk to a dental professional about mouth guards and other solutions. You should also address your anxiety and sleep issues with your doctor, or a mental health professional.
Related Post: How Parkcrest Dental Group Can Help With Dental Anxiety
Inflammation and Gum Disease
When you’re not getting enough sleep, your immune system, along with many other bodily functions, will suffer. Your body needs sleep to repair and recharge, and losing sleep will leave you weaker. This means that your gums will be more vulnerable than usual to inflammation and potential gum disease.
You might find your gums hurting or bleeding when you brush, which is a key sign of gum disease. Grinding your teeth in your sleep will also cause this, or make it worse. Once again, getting enough regular sleep will help your body repair. Along with proper oral hygiene, this can prevent gum inflammation and disease.
Related Post: Gum Disease
Taking this one step further, untreated gum disease and a persistent lack of good sleep can also increase your risk of serious infection. As mentioned above, when you’re tired, your immune system isn’t functioning at its best. If you have any other dental issues such as untreated cavities, you’re more prone to serious infections.
Why Sleep Matters for Overall Health
Sleep is a vital part of your health. Your whole body, inside and out, benefits from getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re experiencing sleep issues, you should speak to a medical professional about possible solutions, whether it’s relaxation exercises, sleep medication or medication for anxiety or stress.
Call Dr. Harrison Today
In some case, just getting a good night’s sleep isn’t enough to fix issues related to oral health. If you’re looking for professional orthodontic dentistry, contact Dr. Harrison at Parkcrest Dental Group today. Dr. Harrison has helped countless patients in Springfield, MO find their perfect smile. If you’re looking for other services, take a look at more of the cosmetic and general dentistry we have to offer.