It seems that the list of teeth-ruining habits goes on and on – from smoking, excessive sugar intake and stress, there are many factors that affect our oral health. Lack of sleep ruins your teeth as well. More specifically, it contributes to the onset of periodontal disease, which is a type of gum disease characterized by swollen, bleeding gums.
Factors that Lead to a Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep can be caused by many factors. A common one is sleep apnea and snoring. According to Parkway Dental, moderate sleep apnea can be treated in a dentist’s chair. The dentists create a custom oral appliance which is worn while asleep. It keeps the jaw in a position that prevents the airways from collapsing while the patient slumbers.
More severe forms of sleep apnea, however, may need more drastic treatment, which may include anything from tonsillectomies to the use of a CPAP machine. It is a kind of device that blows pressurized air into your passageways to let the patient breathe easy.
Other factors may be behavioral. For example, late night snacking and inconsistent bedtimes can contribute to a lack of sleep. In these cases, the patient may have to change his or her habits completely to rectify the problem.
How Lacking Sleep Ruins Your Teeth
Not getting enough sleep is the second most common risk factor behind smoking that leads to periodontal disease. Lack of sleep actually impairs the immune system and affects the patient’s vitality. This allows the bacteria that contribute to gingival disease to thrive inside the mouth.
In fact, people who get less than seven hours of rest per night report higher cases of gingival disease than those who get enough rest. They consistently report lower rates of satisfaction with their own teeth.
Sleep is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Even if you constantly brush your teeth and eat a healthy diet, not getting enough sleep can damage your oral health. If you really want to protect your gums, make sure that you get more than seven hours of restful, undisturbed slumber every night.