Lacking a good night’s rest can make life difficult. Poor sleeping habits can lead to drowsiness, inattentiveness, and even a compromised immune system. What many people fail to realize is that trouble sleeping, or less restful sleep, can be signs of oral health concerns. Sleep apnea and bruxism are can both have a detrimental effect on your sleep. Sleep apnea can break you from your sleep cycle, and leave you less rested, while bruxism (teeth grinding) can cause you to wake up with issues like headaches, and neck stiffness.
Sleep apnea is a condition where the passageways in your throat are temporarily cut off, restricting your oxygen intake while you sleep. This loss of air can last for upwards of ten seconds. These fits of oxygen deprivation can cause your body to awaken throughout the night, even if you do not realize it is happening. These jolts of alertness interfere with your body’s rest. In addition to robbing you of a good night’s rest, sleep apnea can increase your risk for hypertension, which can lead to a heart attack, or a stroke.
Many people can wake up with headaches and other soreness because they suffer from bruxism, or teeth grinding, which can often occur more frequently during sleep. This prolonged grinding can lead to TMJ disorders, and can cause you to suffer headaches, sensitive teeth, and neck stiffness. If left untreated, bruxism can damage teeth, which could necessitate putting a crown on a weakened tooth, or using dental bonding to cover a damaged tooth or teeth. Because bruxism often occurs during sleep, you may not realize that it is the cause of poor dental health.