01 Sep 2018 Bad sleep = bad teeth?
How does your sleep affect your oral health?
Everyone loves a really good sleep, and we all know how terrible you can feel when you don’t sleep well. But did you know your sleep can have a big effect on your teeth?
More than 18 million Americans suffer with sleep apnea, which causes the muscles at the back of the throat over-relax during sleep and block the airway passages.This means that people effectively stop breathing for a little while and then gasp for air, usually without even noticing. This can happen all night long.
This definitely sounds like a less than relaxing way to rest, and can result in hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure, and of course, has a serious knock on effect on your oral health. Here are some of the results of sleep apnea;
Sleep Apnea and snoring can completely dry out the mouth, which is an unpleasant sensation to wake up to, but is also bad for teeth! Saliva washes away food debris, neutralizes destructive acids caused by bacteria and helps keep the soft and hard tissues of the mouth in good condition. Over time, dry mouth can lead to oral bacterial infection, bad breath and more.
As people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t sleep very well, a lot of them can also grind their teeth regularly. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can damage the enamel of your teeth, which weakens them and can hasten tooth decay, putting strain on any weak points in your mouth. As well as putting stress on your teeth, teeth grinding can lead to hypertension, headaches and jaw issues. Anyone who shares a bed with someone who grinds their teeth will know how loud the grinding can be, and can almost hear the damage!
When left untreated for an extended period, sleep apnea can dry out the sockets of your teeth. This, especially when coupled with teeth grinding, can loosen your teeth and cause tooth loss over time.
If you’re worried about the effects of sleep apnea on your oral health, or just want to know more about your dental health overall, you can get a comprehensive, detailed report from Toothpic right to your phone, in under 24 hours with the Complete Care Report. If you’re VERY concerned, you can get a report on one problem area in under six hours, with our Direct Care Report.