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  • Writer's pictureBarbara McClatchie, DDS

The Restorative Power of Sleep for Better Oral and Overall Health

Poor sleep can be problematic for many aspects of your health, but did you know that your dental health is at risk in several ways? Teeth grinding, loose teeth, bleeding gums, and periodontal infections can all be caused by sleep deprivation and sleep disorders. Developing and maintaining proper sleep habits is a powerful method of achieving optimal dental and overall health.

Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system

During our sleep, the body produces protective proteins that are a vital component to a strong immune system. When good sleep is not achieved, these proteins cannot be manufactured, leaving the immune system at a deficit, and your mouth vulnerable to infection.

Quality sleep benefits your teeth

Your blood vessels transport essential nutrients, such as phosphate and calcium, to the tissue of your teeth. Quality sleep–and plenty of it–helps repair the cardiovascular system, keeping that line of transportation running smoothly.

Tooth enamel cannot be replaced or rebuilt. This is why it’s so important to preserve and strengthen this wonderful, protective outer layer of the teeth.

There are a number of oral manifestations of sleep apnea and upper airway resistance. The dental team at Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus is in the perfect position to assess and monitor your risk for sleep apnea. Some of the oral signs of sleep apnea include dry mouth, chipped or cracked teeth, and bruxism (the clenching and grinding of the teeth while sleeping). People who suffer from sleep bruxism are more likely to have sleep problems like snoring and sleep apnea. This condition can also be the cause of jaw disorders, damaged teeth, and other dental issues if not addressed.

What are the ingredients for a good night’s rest?

With a few targeted efforts, you can boost the odds of getting enough quality sleep.

Set a sleep schedule and stick to it! Create a dark, cool, and relaxing environment.

Commit to an exercise routine. Movement during the day will pay off through the night.

When you’ve made every effort toward good sleep habits, and you still find yourself struggling through the day, it’s time to find an oral care specialist for diagnostics and a dental wellness plan. If you’re in central Ohio, or the surrounding areas, we’ve got you covered!

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common chronic disorder that disrupts breathing during sleep. More than 25 million adults in the United States are believed to have moderate to severe sleep apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most undiagnosed medical condition, with an average of 75% of severe cases being undiagnosed in this country. Patients with OSA temporarily stop or decrease their breathing (apnea or hypoxia respectively) repeatedly during sleep. These breathing disruptions can awaken or prevent deep, restful sleep.

CPAP is not always the answer! Depending on your diagnosis, there are simple oral appliances that a dentist can make to improve the issue. Ask Dr. Barbara McClatchie or your oral care specialist what alternatives are available to you.

We can help!

Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus provides sleep apnea screening and we’re thrilled to announce that we now have wireless, at home sleep testing available! We can screen for your risk and get you on a path to optimal wellness. Learn more about our sleep test and schedule your appointment today!


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