Sleep plays an enormous role in many different aspects of our health. Many
people see sleep as simply a necessary way to gain energy, but it can
impact many different parts of the body, including your dental health.
Listed below are three ways that sleep impacts yours dental health.

Battling Infection

When you sleep, your body strengthens your immune system and fights off
different types of infections. For this reason, if you lack sleep for
several days in a row, you are much more likely to get sick. If you have
a cut in your mouth or bacteria that is attempting to cause infection,
sleep will assist your body in battling the incoming infections and heal
your mouth.

Cavity Development

While sleep is essential for battling infection, it can enable cavities
to occur. It is common for people to snore when they sleep, or to sleep
with their mouth open. Sleeping with your mouth partially open causes
the saliva within your mouth to dry up. Saliva acts as a defense against
bacteria because it can rinse it off of your teeth. Saliva works to prevent
bacteria from tooth decay, and when it is dried up, bacteria can grow
much quicker. Many people wake up with bad breath or morning breath because
of the growth of bacteria in their mouth overnight.

Tooth Damage

Another way that sleep can impact your dental health is that it can cause
physical damage to your teeth. The way your teeth can become damaged during
sleep is if you grind your teeth while you sleep. Grinding your teeth
is a medical condition referred to as bruxism. Bruxism has many different
causes, with one of the most common causes being stress. One of the best
ways to protect your teeth from damage if you grind them is to get a custom-fitted
night guard from your dentist or orthodontist.

While sleep has many different positive impacts, such as fighting infection,
it also has the potential to cause adverse health impacts to your teeth.
If you would like to learn more about how to fight cavities or tooth damage
due to sleep, contact Speaks Orthodontics or schedule an appointment to see us!