Posted on 7/10/2018 by Michael Westendorf, DDS
|Your body is an amazing, well-tuned machine where all the systems are connected and things like sleeping habits can affect not only the body as a whole, but also all of the individual parts of it.
You may not think that getting a good night's sleep affects your oral health, however, lack of sleep can cause jaw and gum problems which can lead to other severe issues.
Gum Disease and Lack of Sleep
A group of students at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine examined 200 workers and their lifestyles, including their diet, exercise habits, and stress levels. During the study, the researchers used periodontal probes to monitor the changes in the subject's oral health.
They discovered that the workers who get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, had a lower risk for periodontitis, compared to those who slept less.
Another study from the Emory University School of Medicine, revealed that lack of sleep can lead to increase inflammation in your gums, which could be a risk factor for other more serious diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
The scientist concluded that inflammatory hormones increase due to lack of sleep and this can lead to gingivitis, a milder form of periodontitis.
If you are addicted to binging on Netflix, the effects can be as bad as eating candy or drinking soda and can cause periodontal disease, tooth decay, and oral diseases. This is because staying up late at night can cause a weakened immune system due to sleep deprivation.
Stress and Oral Health
If you are stressed, this can affect your sleeping patterns. Stress and anxiety are believed to also cause conditions such as Bruxism, the clenching or grinding of teeth, which can cause cracks that need to be repaired or other jaw conditions such as TMD.
If you are having problems sleeping, you can do some things to help, such as relaxation or moderate exercise, like walking, before bed. However, chronic lack of sleep should be treated, and the root cause identified, in order to improve your quality of life.