Not getting enough sleep can have a number of different detrimental effects on your overall wellbeing. But did you know that a lack of sleep can affect your dental health, as well? As an integral part of your systemic health, your oral health is closely tied to many of your body’s functions. When one factor is disturbed, the rest are also influenced. To help you make the most of your sleep and your smile, we explore how the two are related, and how you can optimize both!
The Importance of Good Sleep
Sleep has been a mystery throughout the ages, but long before technology allowed us to read vital signs, our ancestors already recognized its importance. Philosophers of old postulated that sleeping patterns greatly affected their ability to fight off disease and remain strong and healthy. Today, those hypotheses have been proven true. One of the biggest consequences of inadequate sleep is a weakened immune system, which greatly increases your risks of dental diseases like periodontitis, as well as your risks of other chronic health conditions.
No Rest = Worsening Dental Health
If your dental health isn’t up to par, then the worsening symptoms can interrupt your sleep. For instance, bruxism (nighttime teeth-grinding) can repeatedly force you awake. Conversely, if you consistently lose sleep, such as from obstructive sleep apnea, then your oral health can grow increasingly worse. In addition to a weaker immune system, sleep deprivation and exhaustion can cause you to become lack in your daily hygiene and regular dental care, exacerbating oral health problems.