Request Hygiene

How Does Sleep Impact Your Dental Health?

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How Does Sleep Impact Your Dental Health?
how does sleep impact your dental health

Did you know that getting a good night’s sleep is not only important for feeling rested and energized but also for keeping your teeth and gums healthy? It might sound surprising, but sleep disorders and oral health are very well connected. Let’s explore how sleep and dental health are connected and why it’s important to get enough rest every night.

What Happens During Sleep?

When we sleep, our body goes into repair mode. It means it works on fixing and rejuvenating itself. Our brain processes information, our muscles relax, and our immune system gets stronger. All these processes help keep our body healthy and functioning well.

The Connection Between Sleep and Dental Health

1. Saliva Production

When you sleep, your body produces less saliva. Saliva is important because it helps wash away food particles and bacteria from your mouth. It also helps neutralize acids that can cause tooth decay. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body might not produce enough saliva, leading to a dry mouth. A dry mouth can increase the risk of cavities and gum disease.

2. Immune System Boost

Your immune system fights off infections, including those in your mouth. When you sleep well, your immune system becomes stronger, making it easier to fight off infections that can cause gum disease. Poor sleep weakens the immune system, leaving your gums vulnerable to infection and inflammation.

3. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Some people grind their teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism. Stress and a lack of sleep can make bruxism worse. Grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel (the hard outer layer of your teeth), cause tooth sensitivity, and lead to jaw pain.

Don’t worry. A high level of bruxism can be treated by a family dentist near you by undergoing professional treatment with them. However, good sleep can help reduce stress and lower the chances of teeth grinding in the first place at home.

4. Hormone Balance

Sleep helps regulate hormones in your body. One important hormone is cortisol, which is often called the stress hormone. High levels of cortisol can lead to inflammation in your gums. Getting enough sleep helps keep cortisol levels balanced, reducing the risk of gum inflammation.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Kids and teenagers need more sleep than adults because their bodies and brains are still growing. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teenagers (ages 13–18) get 8–10 hours of sleep each night. Younger kids need even more. Getting enough sleep helps ensure your body, including your mouth, stays healthy.

Tips for Better Sleep and Dental Health

Tip 1: Create a Sleep Routine

Every day, try hitting the bed and waking up at the same time. Don’t skip doing it, even on weekends. It helps regulate your body’s internal clock and can make it easier to fall asleep and wake up.

Tip 2: Limit Screen Time Before Bed

The blue light from screens (like phones, tablets, and computers) can interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Skip your screen time for at least an hour before bedtime.

Tip 3: Keep Your Bedroom Cool and Dark

A cool, dark room can help you sleep better. Consider using blackout curtains and setting the temperature to a comfortable level.

Tip 4: Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day

Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. Try to avoid drinks like coffee, tea, and soda in the afternoon and evening.

Tip 5: Brush and Floss Before Bed

Brushing and flossing your teeth before bed removes food particles and plaque that can cause cavities and gum disease. Make it a part of your routine before you go to bed at night.

Tip 6: Stay Active During the Day

Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep more quickly and deeply. Just be sure to finish your exercise a few hours before bedtime.

Last Notes

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health, and it also has a big impact on your dental health. When you sleep well, your body produces enough saliva, boosts your immune system, balances hormones, and reduces the risk of teeth grinding.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, aim for 8–10 hours of sleep each night, create a bedtime routine, limit screen time, keep your room cool and dark, avoid caffeine late in the day, and remember to brush and floss before bed.

If you feel your dental health is being compromised by your disrupted sleep cycle, it’s time to visit our dental clinic in NE Calgary. At Sunridge Landing Dental, we help all our patients change their lifestyles, provide treatments, and guide them in maintaining their oral and overall health.