31 May The Way Sleep Affects Your Oral Health
Sleep allows your body to tune itself up. When you’re at rest, every internal process shifts into a lower gear to allow your body to spend more time on repairing cells and recovering energy for a new day. What you may not know is how sleep specifically affects your teeth, and how you can improve your sleep by improving your dental habits. Read on!
Sleep Strengthens Your Immune System
Sleep is vital in developing a healthy immune system. Your immune system spends this time fighting infections and learning ways of protecting itself from future threats or viruses with which you’ve made contact. The same processes apply to your oral health, but your immune system can’t fight alone.
You may already know there are tons of different bacteria in your mouth. Some of these bacteria are good, and some of them feed off of plaque on your teeth, wearing down enamel. You can keep the bad bacteria at bay by brushing and flossing before bed. However, if you don’t, you’ve just given those bacteria a warm, dry place to cultivate for hours. These problems can be compounded if you sleep or snore with your mouth open.
Sleep Toughens Your Enamel
Enamel is the translucent outer shell that covers the crown of each of your teeth, protecting them from damage. As tough as it is, it can wear down, crack, and chip over time or if you aren’t careful. Sleeping allows your body to actually repair your enamel to a certain extent. Sleep also repairs tissues by distributing phosphate and calcium through your body to strengthen your bones, including your teeth.
Developing Positive Night Habits
Brushing for 2 minutes before bed is the most helpful, but it doesn’t need to be just before. Toothpaste can dry out your mouth, so brushing an hour or two before going to sleep can be more effective in letting your body regenerate saliva. Just make sure you limit yourself to water after brushing.
If you snore or have a habitually dry mouth during sleep, keep water close by to keep your mouth hydrated. Saliva is your first defence against bacteria and cavities in your mouth.
Lastly, if you regularly wake with jaw pain or tension-type headaches, there is a good chance you suffer from sleep bruxism. Bruxism is another word for grinding your teeth during your sleep. This can severely affect the quality of your sleep and the health of your teeth.
Many people experience mild cases of bruxism, but if you are struggling, we at ADG are able to fit you with a custom sleep guard. These guards form to your teeth and prevent any wear while you sleep. Most importantly, it allows you to get a quality night’s sleep, which improves your whole body’s health.