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How Sleeping Affects Your Dental Health

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!