In our last blog post, we discussed how dental health can affect your overall health. But did you know that there are lots of sleeping conditions and sleeping habits that can affect your teeth, too? Read on to learn more about four things that can affect your dental health.
Sleep Disorders & Dental Health
Many sleep disorders can affect dental health. Undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea can impact your health in many ways. Sleep apnea can cause bruxism, resulting in physical damage to your teeth and/or jaw. In addition, it may cause chronic dry mouth. This can increase your risk of cavities, as saliva production is important for maintaining overall oral health.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
One of the most common symptoms of most sleep disorders is excessive daytime sleepiness. Believe it or not, this can greatly impact your dental health. Maintaining healthy dental hygiene habits can be much more difficult if you find yourself falling asleep on the couch every night or struggling to get up in the morning.
If daytime sleepiness is affecting your ability to perform daily hygiene tasks, you may want to speak to your doctor about a sleep study. In addition, try adjusting your dental hygiene routine to a time when you are more likely to be awake. For example, brush and floss your teeth immediately after dinner, before you sit down to relax.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Almost everyone grinds their teeth on occasion. It can be caused by stress, unrelated muscle tension, pain, or other reasons. However, it is also a common symptom of some sleep disorders. It’s important to get proper diagnosis as treatment, as a night guard may not be the right solution if you are grinding your teeth due to a sleep disorder.
Excessive snoring isn’t just an annoyance to your family members: it can also affect your health! Like bruxism, snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea and other sleep disturbances.
Snoring occurs when you sleep with your mouth open, which can cause your mouth and gums to dry out, making a breeding ground for oral bacteria. In addition to looking for ways to lessen your snoring, consider starting your day with a thorough brushing and rinsing of your mouth. If you can’t imagine brushing your teeth before your morning cup of coffee, get a second toothbrush and brush with water only, for a clean mouth that isn’t minty fresh.
At Orzechowski & Arndt, we want to help you ensure a healthy and beautiful smile! Contact us to make an appointment!