What is Dentistry’s Relationship to Sleep?

As the window into your body, so to speak, your mouth and its health can have a serious impact on your overall quality of life. If asked about the relationship between dental health and sleep, some people might think first of a severe toothache that keeps them awake at night. The truth, however, is that certain oral health issues can disturb your sleep in a more profound manner, or damage your teeth by causing you to grind them together when you’re unconscious. Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Smith, explains a couple of ways in which dental health can help you sleep more soundly and more peacefully.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a disorder involving tissues in the mouth and throat that relax and collapse into the airway, forcing the patient to stop breathing. After a moment or two, the lack of oxygen causes your brain to panic and your body to wake enough to start breathing again. Loud snoring is a common indicator of OSA; as air escapes through an obstructed airway, the walls in your throat vibrate. Snoring grows louder as the tissues close more of your airway, and then stops as the airway closes completely. If you suffer from OSA, then Dr. Smith may be able to help you find rest with a custom-designed oral appliance that can help keep your lower jaw in forward position while you sleep. The support will help prevent oral tissues from collapsing into your airway and stopping you from breathing.

Bruxism Sleepguards

Snoring isn’t the only thing that might happen while you sleep. Bruxism, or habitual teeth-grinding, typically occurs at night, while you sleep. The pressure can damage your teeth or change their shape, throwing your bite off-balance and placing your teeth an increased risk for further damage or infection. While athletes wear mouthguards to protect their teeth while playing sports, Dr. Smith can design a similar mouthpiece to protect your teeth from each other. A sleepguard will stop you from grinding your teeth together at night, helping you preserve your smile until the underlying cause of your bruxism can be addressed.

About Your Grand Prairie Dentist:

Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Park Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you’re a new or returning patient, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.