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Sleep Soundly to Save Your Smile

By Jill Hamilton on January 22, 2013 in Healthy Living


sleep

Ask any young professional about their sleeping habits and their answers will vary. Some will say they need their 8 hours of sleep a night while others will flaunt the fact that they need a measly 5 hours to run at full capacity. 5 hours!

Crazy right? Right!

Sleep is an essential part of your schedule. Without sufficient sleep, your body doesn't have the time it needs to refresh and reboot all the systems it's maintaining.

What makes sleep such an integral part of your oral health? Well, if you're tired and run down, your immune system probably is too2. A weak immune system leaves the door open for bacteria or other germs to invade, cause canker or cold sores, and make you more susceptible to gum disease3.

Sleep deprivation can also cause memory lapses2, which means your usual diligence in brushing after meals and remembering to floss before bed may be left by the wayside. In fact, if you're too tired, you may end up totally skipping your bedtime oral health regimen in favor of your soft, fluffy pillow or waking up too late to do the proper oral care in the morning.

Not getting enough sleep is the cause of many failed diets, which is as bad for teeth as it is for waistlines. When we're tired, people have a tendency to eat more and think about it less. Therefore, you may be making bad food choices for your teeth simply because you're sleepy4. If you are drinking caffeine-loaded soda and energy drinks to stay awake, you may also be harming your teeth. These drinks often contain high levels of sugar and acid that can lead to tooth decay and tooth erosion over time5.

Be sure to get the recommended amount of sleep as much as possible – not only will you be well rested and happy, your teeth will be, too.

2 http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_healthv
3 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,Delta155
4 http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2011/03/Sleep-deprived-people-eat-300-more-calories-a-day/45227686/1
5 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,20818