How do sleep disorders affect your oral health
Sleeping helps you keep your cardiovascular system functioning, which ensures good circulation of blood. So a good night's sleep facilitates the transportation of essential nutrients, such as calcium and phosphate to the bone tissue of your teeth. This helps in repairing and strengthening your tooth's enamel. Lack of sleep can cause various oral health issues. Let's have a look at these.
Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder. When you suffer from this sleep disorder, your airway either partially or fully closes while you are asleep. Whenever this happens, the oxygen levels drop in your body and you wake up. One of the symptoms of this sleep disorder is breathing from the mouth. As a result, you develop bad breath.
Temporomandibular joint disorders
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. Research has found that sleep apnea and TMJ disorders are quite interrelated. When the airway collapses, it causes an automatic response in the body to protrude the lower jaw forward. The constant back-and-forth motion can cause tension and stress on the jaw joints.
Bruxism essentially means grinding teeth or clenching the jaw. Sleep-related bruxism involves repetitive jaw-muscle activity during sleep, characterized by involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth. It can have negative effects on your sleep, including waking up with a headache, neck ache, clicking jaws, and jaw pain. In severe cases, teeth become sensitive as a result of enamel wearing off due to constant bruxing.
Research has shown that lack of sleep could lead to the onset of periodontitis. Periodontitis is also known as gum disease. Inflamed and infected gums are usually the first signs of periodontitis. Eventually, the bones that support the area weaken, leading to tooth loss. Getting less than seven hours of sleep each night can significantly increase the risks of periodontitis.
When you breathe through your nose, your sinuses add moisture to the air you inhale. But when you breathe through your mouth, it causes dryness in the mouth. Dryness can increase the acidity in your mouth and put you at greater risk of developing tooth decay. Other problems of dry mouth are plaque, mouth sores, periodontal disease, and gingivitis or gum inflammation.