Connections between sleep and oral health

You may not realize it, but there’s an incredible connection between the quality of your sleep and the health of your smile. Here’s some tips to ensure both your pearly whites and your restful nights are well-preserved.

Dry mouth
Saliva is a superstar when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy. It helps wash away food particles, bacteria, and acids. It acts as your natural defense against cavities and gum disease. But did you know that saliva production decreases during sleep? A dry mouth at night can increase the risk of dental issues. To combat this, stay hydrated and consider using a humidifier in your bedroom to keep the moisture levels up.

Teeth grinding
If you wake up with a sore jaw or headache, this could be a sign you’re grinding your teeth during sleep. Stress and sleep disorders can trigger this nighttime habit, which can wreak havoc on your teeth. By using a mouth guard, you can protect your smile from damage!

Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep and can significantly impact your oral health. It often goes hand in hand with chronic snoring and dry mouth, both of which can contribute to dental problems. Furthermore, sleep apnea can put stress on your jaw joint, leading to jaw pain and dysfunction. If you suspect you’re suffering from sleep apnea, talk to a doctor to learn about treatments. 

Late night snacking
Late-night snacks may seem harmless, but they can have a major impact on your sleep and oral health. Foods high in sugar and acidity can lead to tooth decay and cavities and consuming them right before bed can negatively impact your sleeping habits.

The connection between sleep and oral health is undeniable. A good night’s sleep is essential not only for your overall health but also for the well-being of your smile. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, schedule an appointment with Jackson Dental by calling (573) 243-5200 or visiting our office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo.