We all have nights when we don’t sleep. But if it is happening on a daily basis, it is a matter of concern. This can be due to a variety of factors, including exhaustion, mental illness or bad mood. What’s worrying is that poor sleep quality might harm your health. It can worsen mental problems, make you gain weight, damage your heart, and even harm your oral health. Yes, you heard it right. If you have dental problems in addition to poor sleep, this could be because the two are related.
A restful night’s sleep prevents gum disease from developing and also helps to prevent foul breath, mouth sores, sensitive teeth, and other oral health issues. However, if your sleep cycle is out of the track, you may experience a variety of dental issues, such as:
- Sleep apnea
- TMJ disorders
- Mouth breathing
5 dental issues associated with sleep disorders
1. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder. Sleep apnea occurs when your airway either partially or fully closes while you are asleep. Every time this happens the oxygen levels drop in your body and you wake up. Most of these patients have a habit of breathing from their mouths. Which then leads to bad breath and so on.
2. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
TMJ disorders and sleep apnea are related to each other. The TMJ acts as a hinge for the lower jaw to the upper jaw.
Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:
- Pain throughout the neck, head, and shoulders
- Problem in chewing
- There could be clicking or grinding sounds in your Jaw joints
- Locked jaw, unable to keep the jaw open for a long period of time
- You feel jaw pain especially after waking up in the morning.
Bruxism is a clinical name for grinding teeth or clenching the jaw. While it can happen at any time throughout the day, it usually occurs when a person is sleeping. Bruxism has negative effects on your sleep, including waking up with a headache, neck ache, clicking jaws, and jaw pain.
Bruxism is considered a side effect of a sleep disorder. Uncontrolled and involuntary movement of the jaw is seen during sleep. Severe bruxers also experience teeth sensitivity because of the enamel wearing off.
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Signs of bruxism include loose teeth eroded teeth, or cracked, chipped, and broken teeth. If your dentist observes symptoms, they may ask about muscle pain in your head, neck, face, and jaw, upon awakening.
4. Mouth breathing
Mouth breathing is when a person breathes through the mouth. It causes dryness in the mouth which leads to tooth decay. Other problems of dry mouth are plaque, mouth sores, gingivitis (gum inflammation), and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Inflamed gums are observed in cases such as mouth breathers, people who snore, and people with bruxism habits.
If you are experiencing any of the following problems mentioned below, it’s an indication for you to see a dentist:
• Clenching and grinding teeth during sleep
• Tightness and pain in jaw joints
• Sore spots because of involuntary cheek biting
• Dull headaches that start from next to the ear and radiate toward the temples
• Dry mouth
So, now you know how there is a strong link between sleep disorders and your teeth. It is advised that you keep a check on your dental health as well as your sleep health.