In the majority of our blogs, we focus on all of the opportunities that you have to promote good dental habits. Eating healthy, avoiding sugary foods, brushing, and flossing are all vital practices to maintaining a healthy smile throughout the day, but what happens while you’re sleeping? Even if you’re doing everything that your dentist suggests, certain problems can still occur while you’re not even awake to realize them. But before you lie awake at night wondering what’s happening to your teeth while you sleep, it’s important to note that quality sleep itself is not bad for your teeth. In fact, studies have found a correlation between sleep deprivation and periodontal disease. In order to keep your teeth in top shape around that clock, make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and following these tips:
Keep Bacteria at Bay
While you sleep, decay-causing bacteria multiply in your mouth. If you skip brushing before bed or indulge in any late-night snacks, this creates even more plaque build-up which can lead to cavities and gum disease. To help keep your mouth as clean as possible, it’s important to brush, floss, and use a mouthwash before bed. For patients particularly susceptible to cavities, we recommend brushing after dinner, and then again right before bed.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is key to washing away plaque, but it’s also a good idea to keep a glass of water on your bedside table at night. Overnight your saliva production naturally decreases so that you don’t need to swallow as much while you’re asleep. This lack of saliva allows for a perfect environment for germs to thrive. By keeping water handy, you can take a sip, rehydrate, and wash away any newly formed bacteria.
Put a Stop to Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is a common condition that can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and tooth fracture. Many people don’t even know they grind their teeth until they start waking up with stiffness and soreness in the morning. Night guards can help protect your teeth, but depending on the severity of your condition, additional medications or treatments may become necessary. If you’re experiencing any pain, pay a visit to Dr. Syd or Dr. Matt at Ashley Dental. Our team can help diagnose any sleeping patterns that may be affecting your teeth, and offer treatments or products that can help.
Seek Treatment for Any Sleep Disorders
Certain sleep conditions like sleep apnea have the potential to affect not just your dental health, but your overall health as well. Sleep apnea may lead to heart problems or other complications, so it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatments. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include headaches, dry mouth, and daytime sleepiness. While your dentist can help treat dry mouth, it’s important to see a specialist to treat the root of the issue.
If you have any questions or concerns about sleep-induced dental problems, reach out to Ashley Dental today. Our team will work with you to find the best treatment for you. Request an appointment by contacting us or by calling us at (843) 767-2600.