How a Lack of Sleep Can Damage Your Dental Health

Posted on: 20 January 2020

Are you getting enough sleep? Although each person differs when it comes to how much sleep they need, in general, you can tell if you are getting enough sleep. For instance, the easiest way to tell is by how sleepy you feel throughout the day. However, there is another way. The general state of your oral health is also an indication of whether you are getting enough sleep.

The more sleep you get, and the better the quality of sleep, the better your oral health will be. Although sleep is just one factor among many, it does play an important role in the state of your dental health.

A Lack of Sleep Weakens Your Immune System

You don't have to be a doctor to figure out that your immune system needs you to get enough rest in order to function properly. However, do you know just how a lack of sleep affects your immune system? According to research, not getting enough sleep actually turns your immune system against your body! In other words, a lack of sleep increases inflammation throughout your body.

And since tartar leads to inflammation of your gum tissue, any existing issues you have with tartar formation near and under your gums will become more serious if you don't get enough sleep. Gum disease isn't the only condition that a lack of sleep makes worse, however. Any injury that you get in your mouth while not sleeping enough will experience higher levels of inflammation.

Inflamed tissue takes longer to heal. So, if you want to ensure that oral injuries and complication caused by gum disease heal quickly, sleep more!

A Lack of Sleep Leads to Bruxism

Less sleep means more stress, especially in the long term. And one of the worst conditions that stress causes is bruxism. Put simply, the more stressed you are, the more likely you are to grind your teeth while asleep at night. Unlike when you are awake, when you can control your biting force, you have no power over how much force you exert while grinding in your sleep.

As such, if you grind your teeth while asleep, you are putting your teeth under massive pressure, much more than you would if you were eating during the day. This will not only wear your teeth down, but it will damage your gum tissue as well. And, as you already know, less sleep means more inflammation. That means any damage you cause while grinding will take longer to heal.

A lack of sleep harms your body in many ways. However, as an adult, you only have one set of teeth. Remember that next time you are trying to decide if you should forgo sleep in favour of something else. For help with improving your dental health, contact family dentists in your area.