Getting enough sleep is essential for your health. It’s not only the number of hours you are asleep that makes a difference but also the quality of that sleep. If you’re sleeping eight hours a night and still feel tired, various sleep disorders could be to blame. Talking to your doctor is a good way to get to the bottom of any sleep issues and although many people don’t realize it, your dentist can also be a resource for solving the problem of poor sleep.
At first, it may not seem clear how your teeth could relate to your sleep. However, dentists are often able to see the signs of poor sleep based on a person’s oral health. In addition, certain oral health conditions have been shown to impact sleep quality.
The Link Between Oral Health and Sleep
This article will examine some sleep disorders that overlap with oral health shortly, but first, it’s worth noting that there are some ties between poor oral health and poor sleep beyond these disorders. One example is that if you have tooth pain, you are more likely to have poor sleep quality due to waking up more frequently.
In addition to oral health impacting your sleep, the reverse can also be true. Poor sleep quality or not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of gum disease. This can in turn increase the likelihood of other oral health conditions, perpetuating a cycle of oral health issues and poor sleep.
Sleep Disorders Related to Dentistry
In addition to the more general link between oral health and sleep, there are two major sleep disorders that are closely tied to dentistry: bruxism and sleep apnea.
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, most commonly occurs at night, although it can occur during the day. Nighttime bruxism is a sleep disorder as well as an oral health issue. It can impact the quality of your sleep and also wears down your teeth over time. Your dentist can help prevent damage to your teeth by fitting you for a custom night guard. Bruxism may also be a warning sign of other sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing periodically throughout the night. It is associated with snoring and other signs include waking up tired, headaches, or having a sore throat in the morning. You may not be aware, but dentists can help you treat sleep apnea. The Vivos System corrects issues that lead to this condition, providing an alternative to using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Although you’ll need a sleep study to be diagnosed, your dentist can help start the process and connect you with other professionals to help identify and treat sleep apnea and improve the quality of your sleep.
Struggling With Poor Sleep?
If you are not sleeping well and suspect sleep apnea could be the cause, Smith Dentalworks can help. Dr. Atty Smith is a Vivos dentist in Oro Valley and she can help you treat your sleep apnea. We can also help with bruxism.