We hear a whole lot about the health benefits of a good night's sleep. However, sometimes it can be hard to tell just what to do to get better sleep.
Did you know that your dentist can be a crucial partner in improving your sleep quality? Many people overlook the importance of dental health when it comes to getting a restful night's sleep.
Why is Sleep So Important?
Sleep is essential to your health in a number of ways. Sleep allows your body and brain to rest and recover. Your quality of sleep affects your day-to-day mood and ability to perform mentally. It impacts not only your motivation to exercise and be active, but also your metabolism and weight. Long-term lack of sleep is tied to a weakened immune system as well as an increased risk for mental illness, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
How Your Dentist Helps You Sleep Better
Your dental health can impact your sleep quality, so taking care of your teeth and gums is critical. Your dentist helps keep your mouth healthy and can treat oral health issues that impact your sleep. In addition, your dentist may be able to diagnose and treat certain sleep disorders which can contribute to poor sleep.
Sleep apnea is a surprisingly common sleep disorder characterized by an abnormal amount of pauses in breathing while you are asleep. These interruptions can last from a few seconds to minutes, causing reduced sleep quality and other serious health complications.
Your dentist can play a central role in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. We can discuss signs of obstructive sleep apnea during your routine dental checkup, as well as look for physical evidence such as a scalloped tongue or worn teeth from grinding. If we suspect sleep apnea, we can refer you for a sleep study to confirm. Dentists can also provide custom oral appliances that reposition the jaw and tongue to help keep your airway open during sleep, providing relief from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism, or tooth grinding, is a common disorder that affects both children and adults. Grinding your teeth can lead to various dental issues such as tooth wear, gum recession, and jaw pain. Moreover, it often occurs at night, when it can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling fatigued during the day.
Dentists can identify signs of tooth grinding during a dental exam and provide treatment options to alleviate the issue. One common solution is a custom-made night guard, which is a dental appliance that fits over your teeth to protect them from grinding and clenching. We can also talk to you about stress reduction techniques, as stress is often a significant contributor to bruxism.
Toothaches and Dental Pain
Toothache can be an absolute nightmare when you're trying to sleep. Dental pain caused by decay, infection, or inflammation can make it nearly impossible to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.
Dentists are experts at diagnosing the cause of your toothache and providing the necessary treatment to alleviate the pain. This may include filling cavities, performing a root canal, or prescribing antibiotics for an infection. Timely dental care can prevent the issue from worsening and restore your sleep quality.
Take Action for Better Sleep
Your dentist can be a valuable ally in your quest for better sleep. By addressing issues such as these, we can help you achieve the restful night's sleep you deserve. Don't let dental issues stand in the way of your well-being. Schedule an appointment today and start enjoying a better night's sleep before you know it.