We are all aware that having consistently bad sleep can have an impact on a person's body. Fatigue sets in, which induces a lack of focus, drowsiness and other symptoms. However, there are some other less obvious repercussions of insomnia and sleep disorders, notably ones that can impact oral health. It is important to try and tackle any sleep-related issues you may have, not just for the good of your dental health, but also for your general wellbeing.
Direct Effects of Insomnia on Oral Health
There are several attributes of insomnia that can affect your oral health, one of the most damaging ones being dry mouth. Insomnia can be due to sleep apnea, or other sleep related problems. Sleep apnea causes the individual to sleep with their mouth open, causing dry mouth. Dry mouth is detrimental for the oral cavity because it leaves the teeth vulnerable to bacteria and can increase the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
If bruxism is causing your insomnia it will be having a direct effect on your dental health. Bruxism is when a patient unconsciously grinds their teeth during the night. This is usually due to stress and can lead to insomnia. Over time, bruxism can cause the teeth to become worn down. It is in a patient's best interest to resolve bruxism, which we can help you with at our office.
Indirect Effects of Insomnia on Oral Health
Insomnia may also lead to eating later or snacking. These types of eating habits have been linked to a higher risk of developing tooth decay as it leaves harmful substances in the mouth overnight. Eating late in combination with dry mouth is potentially very damaging to the teeth. If you are in the habit of eating late, make sure you clean your teeth after snacking. To find out how we can help alleviate sleep-related disorders, contact our office at (425) 616-0620.