How A Good Night’s Rest Will Improve Your Oral Health

Most people know that oral health problems can interfere with the quality and quantity of sleep. For example, sleep apnea or bruxism can deny you a good night's rest. What you may not know is that it works the other way too; poor sleep can also affect your oral health. Here are three ways in which this might happen:

Poor Sleep Leads To Stress

Inadequate or disturbed sleep will leave you feeling irritable, moody, and stressed up. Unfortunately, the same stress can cause sleep disorders, leading to a vicious cycle of stress and poor sleep quality.

Stress is bad for your oral health in more ways than one; for example, it can:

  • Lead to teeth grinding and its associated effects such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
  • Cause constant teeth clenching that leads to cracked or eroded enamel
  • Encourage mouth sores
  • Encourage poor oral hygiene (you probably won't think about brushing and flossing if you are stressed up) and its dangerous effects such as gum disease

Poor Sleep Decimates Your Immunity

The relationship between sleep and the immune system is a complex one, but any doctor will tell you that your immune system will suffer if you don't get enough sleep. For example, there is evidence that sleep deprivation reduces the number of T-cells (a type of white blood cells that comprise the immune system) in the body and increases inflammatory cytokines (signaling molecules that encourage inflammation).

All aspects of your health suffer when your immune system is repressed. For example, the impaired immunity makes it easy for your oral bacteria to attack your gums, increasing the risk of gum disease.

Interrupted Self-Maintenance

The body rejuvenates and repairs itself as you sleep. The tissues, tendons, and even blood vessels get the chance to repair the damages that your body might have incurred during the strenuous activities of the day. This is also the same time when the body replenishes its damaged or dead cells.

Without these self-maintenance processes, your oral tissues will always be tired, aged and prone to diseases. Therefore, your oral health (and other aspects of your health suffer when you don't get enough sleep.

As you can see, getting a good night's sleep is integral to your oral health and you should get it regularly. However, it isn't the only factor affecting your oral health, so consult a clinic like Trussville Dentistry if you are getting regular sleep but are still dealing with oral health issues.