100 Worcester Street, Suite 50 | Grafton, MA 01536

Are Bad Sleep & Oral Health Connected?

Brunette man in a maroon shirt yawns due to daytime sleepiness from bad sleep

A good night’s sleep can greatly impact your whole body. When you don’t get a good night of sleep, your body doesn’t have the chance to completely relax your muscles and brain, recuperate its energy, and repair any damaged cells and tissues. Patients who struggle with irritability, daytime sleepiness, and mental fog due to sleep deprivation usually have an underlying issue that’s affecting their ability to sleep. For example, sleep quality can be associated with oral health issues.

Oral Health Issues Connected with Poor Sleep

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes people to stop breathing for short amounts of time throughout the night. Symptoms of sleep apnea can include snoring, dry mouth, headaches, irritability and mood swings, fatigue and drowsiness during the day. Daytime drowsiness can cause you to slack on your oral hygiene regimen, which will increase your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Dry mouth can also increase your risk of dental disease. When there is less saliva in your mouth, harmful bacteria can run rampant and your tooth enamel experiences less remineralization.


Bruxism (teeth grinding) can cause severe tooth sensitivity, discoloration, jaw pain, and tooth damage. If left untreated, bruxism can contribute to serious oral health issues and result in additional sleep loss due to tooth pain, anxiety, and stress. A custom nightguard can act as a cushion between your teeth to prevent damage.

Tips for Getting Better Sleep

Wondering how you can turn your sleep and your oral health around? Here are some of our top tips for improving your quality of sleep and your smile!

  • Seek treatment for any underlying issues (sleep apnea, bruxism, anxiety, stress, etc.)
  • Stay hydrated with enough water throughout the day.
  • Consume a balanced diet with plenty of whole fruits and vegetables.
  • Have a set sleep schedule to balance your circadian rhythm.
  • Go screen-free (phones, laptops, and TVs) at least an hour before bed
  • Make sure your bedroom and your bed are comfy and relaxing.
  • Get enough physical activity! The official evidence-based guidelines recommend: at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise (or an equivalent combination: 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity is about equivalent to 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity) plus muscle-strengthening exercise at least 2 days a week that work all major muscle groups.

Schedule Your Oral Health Consultation!

Have you noticed that you feel sleep-deprived? Are you struggling with oral health issues? The two may be linked! At Grafton Dental Care, our experienced team can help you get down to the bottom of your sleep issues and help you regain a healthy, vibrant smile. Please contact us to schedule your consultation!

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