How Can Sleep Disorders Harm your Dental Health?

SleepingFamilySleep disorders which occur during arousals from non-REM and REM sleep are clinically referred to as parasomnias. You may not realize it, but several familiar conditions actually fall under the parasomnia umbrella. Have you ever heard of (or experienced) sleepwalking, nightmares, or irregular heart rhythms at night? These are all sleep disorders, as is bruxism (AKA teeth grinding). Teeth grinding is often related to TMJ issues. By unconsciously rubbing your teeth together in a sawing motion while you sleep, you are putting your dental health at high risk, as well as potentially irritating and inflaming your jaw joints. Fortunately, whether it’s TMJ or teeth grinding, Pella, IA dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen can help.

How Do Sleep Cycles Work?

Consider sleep to be an extremely valuable time for your body to recharge. When you are attaining sufficient sleep, your energy levels are restored.  Even though we think of sleep as pure rest, the act of sleep is an active state. REM (rapid eye movement) and Non-REM (non-rapid eye movement) are the two basic stages of slumber. Dreams occur in the REM stage when you have heightened brain activity. You also have muscular immobility during this stage. When the quality or amount of sleep you get is diminished significantly due to factors such as stress, anxiety, or health issues, side effects will ensue. They include fatigue, depression, impaired memory, and decreased immune response. Bruxism Teeth grinding occurs during sleep for most people. The consistent grinding motion causes muscle discomfort in your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) wearing down your tooth enamel. This is bad news for your dental health. Tooth enamel protects your teeth from the germs that cause cavities, so bruxism often leads to the need for restorative dental work such as fillings, crowns, and root canal procedures.

Visit your Pella, IA Dentist

If teeth grinding, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or even sleep apnea are concerns of yours, Dr. Jeffrey Allen can help. We provide comfortable comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. Call  (641) 628-1121 to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit.