Wake up! Most people don’t associate a good night’s sleep with oral health. But if you’re suffering from sleep problems, your dentist can help.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t work properly. Do you snore or grind your teeth at night? Both problems will affect your sleep.
Sleep disordered breathing, such as snoring or sleep apnea, can occur as we age and gain weight. Snoring happens when the soft tissues in the back of your throat vibrate as the air is forced through too small a passage. Some snorers have obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which their throat tissues completely collapse, causing a temporary obstruction of the airway. This cuts off breathing temporarily.
Your dentist can help you keep from snoring by ordering you a dental device that resembles a mouthguard worn by athletes. If you have sleep apnea, consult with your dentist for additional options. You may require an oral appliance that opens the airway and reduces the obstruction, or surgery that removes excess tissue at the back of the throat.
If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist can prescribe an oral appliance to protect your tooth enamel. You also can ease symptoms by relaxing before bedtime and maintaining a nightly routine. Any routine should include brushing and flossing your teeth before bed.
It’s always a good idea to remove the sticky plaque covering your teeth. A bedtime brushing routine helps your body know it’s time for sleep. Good night!