Interesting Connection Between Your Sleep and Oral Health

Sleeping is a normal physiological activity which has countless advantages on our body. We all know that sleep disturbances can mess up all the systems in the body, but it is an interesting fact to know that sleep disturbance has worst effects on our oral hygiene as well. Also if you are stressed, depressed or anxious and as a result do not get proper sleep, you lose interest in doing regular activities like brushing and flossing This improper sleep cycle will have a direct effect on your periodontal (Gums and bones) health. Many dentists have observed that young people lack awareness about importance of oral hygiene in their lives and suffer a great deal as a result. It is observed that young adults with poor oral hygiene share a history of sleep disorders or stress.   

Most of us have sleep apnea (sleep disorders) in the form of snoring, insomnia or more. So, it is necessary to know more about its bad effects on our oral health. There is no doubt that sound sleep will surely reduce some dental problems like bad breath, mouth ulcers and progression of gums issues. However, we must know that bruxism (grinding of teeth), mouth breathing, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems are also associated with sleep disorders. 

Bruxism
Bruxism causes involuntary and uncontrolled movements of the jaw during sleep. Bruxism or clenching the jaw can happen at any time but mostly it occurs when a person is asleep. Bruxism has adverse effects on sleep like headache, neck, face, or jaw pain. People with habits of bruxism, have attired teeth, or cracked or chipped teeth surfaces. Because of this, sometimes, they feel sensitivity to hot and cold food and liquids. Wearing a night guard is the best way to protect teeth. It is a soft material which you can wear over teeth to avoid grinding of teeth.

Mouth breathing
Mouth breathing is not good for oral health as it leads to dry mouth. Consequences of dry mouth are decay, mouth sores, ulcers, plaque, and tartar formation, periodontal (gums) problem. According to research, gingivitis (inflammation of gums) accounts for 34.1% of people with sleep disorders. Sleep apnea causes mouth breathing and it has adverse effects on oral health.

TMJ (Temporomandibular joint)
TMJ joint connects lower jaw to upper jaw. We have two such joints: one on each side. Sleep apnea and TMJ problems are interconnected. Many times, people grind their teeth intentionally or unintentionally when they are not getting sleep. If this becomes a habit, then it has worst effects on TMJ. People with such problems experience symptoms like jaw pain, head, neck and even shoulder pain. Some people complaint about chewing difficulties as well. Also, clicking or grinding sound near the joint area caused as a result might irritate people. Some people might also get locked jaw, meaning the inability to open or close the mouth for certain period. Tightness of the jaw is also seen as one of the related problems.

Treatments 
Generally, sleep apnea is diagnosed by a medical doctor. However, the dentist will help you to alleviate dental symptoms with. Treatments such as behavior modification including improving sleep quality, treatments for dry mouth. A dentist can prescribe tablets and mouth wash to cure dry mouth. Doctors might also ask you to wear nightguard to resolve grinding or clenching of teeth will help you in case of grinding or clenching. Orthodontic or braces treatments are also one of the best options to correct the bite

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