Is A Lack of Sleep Costing You Your Smile?

Even for patients that brush and floss regularly, a night without proper sleep can have disruptive effects on an otherwise healthy smile. The next time you pick up your toothbrush or begin to floss, ask yourself if you’ve slept enough to encourage a healthy smile. If you have been struggling with poor sleep or sleep apnea, give us a call at (262) 784-7770 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve high quality sleep and a healthier smile. 

How Does Sleep Affect Dental Health?

Patients with sleep apnea or disruptive sleep habits may experience increased oral health risks and not know why. Sleep, and the lack of it, actually plays an important role in supporting better oral health. For patients who often wake up groggy or with sensitive teeth, they may have one or more of the following conditions: 

  • Snoring or sleep apnea that obstructs the ability to stay asleep 
  • Inflammation linked to increased risks for gingivitis or heart disease
  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may result in canker sores
  • Jaw Pain or TMJ Disorder from unconscious clamping of the jaw
  • Chronic headaches, neckaches or worn down teeth

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans every year, where patients experience sleep interruptions of shallow or stopped breathing during the night. This form of paused breathing lasts a few seconds at a time to as long as a few minutes, and can occur 30 or more times per hour. In many cases, this condition occurs when the airways become blocked or collapsed while asleep. Risks for developing sleep apnea increase for patients who are overweight, have small airways, are male or have a family history of sleep apnea. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Meinerz to find out more about how sleep may be affecting your oral health. 

How Much Sleep is Good Sleep?

According to a study at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine that examined the oral health of 200 factory workers over the period of 4 years, workers who slept 7-8 hours a night had lower risks of periodontal disease (gum disease) than workers who slept an average of 6 hours a night or less. To support better health, an average of 7-9 hours of regular sleep is recommended. 


Sleep Solutions At The Dentist

It turns out, dentists have a lot more to do with your sleep than making a call to the tooth fairy! When you or a loved one comes in to see Dr. Meinerz at Honest Teeth, he is able to provide a professional assessment of your dental health and offer gentle solutions. From developing custom mouth guards to providing orthodontic care, Dr. Meinerz helps patients find simple solutions to getting a better night’s sleep. 

Better Sleep. Better Health

As your local family and general dentist in Elm GroveDr. Meinerz is honored to serve as your local dentist when you make an appointment at Honest Teeth. If you or a loved one has spent one too many nights tossing and turning in bed, or have questions about sleep apnea treatment, give us a call at (262) 784-7770 to schedule your appointment.