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Dentistry and a Good Night’s Sleep

Numerous studies conducted over the past several years have shown that a good night’s sleep is crucial to our health and well-being. So if you’re not sleeping as well as you could be, it’s important to seek help. But the source of that help may come as a surprise. As it turns out, your dentist might be able to provide you with the assistance you need to sleep soundly throughout the course of each night!

Many people can’t sleep because of issues related to their oral health. These problems include teeth grinding, sleep apnea, and issues with the jaw such as TMD (temporomandibular disorder). These conditions can not only wreak havoc with your sleep – they can also create a long list of negative symptoms while you’re awake. If you feel groggy throughout the day, wake up tired in the morning, experience headaches, or have difficulty concentrating, you could be suffering from the effects of sleep deprivation, and that could be the result of any of the conditions listed above.

One of the most common treatments that dentists recommend to effectively reduce or alleviate these issues are mouth guards. These oral appliances provide several benefits for people with sleep disorders. If you grind your teeth at night (also referred to as “bruxism”), your teeth can become weakened and worn down over time. A mouth guard can protect your teeth from this type of damage. If you suffer from sleep apnea, a mouth guard can help to open your airway while you sleep, thereby reducing your snoring and allowing you (not to mention other members of the household) to sleep more soundly. If you have TMD, a mouth guard can ensure that your jaw is positioned correctly throughout the course of the night, and as a result can reduce many of the negative symptoms associated with this condition – such as morning headaches, pain in or around the jaw, and sleeplessness at night.

Of course, there are other reasons why some people may not be getting a good night’s sleep, many of which need to be addressed by a medical doctor or a sleep specialist. But if you suffer from one of these all-too-common oral health issues, and your quality of sleep is diminished as a result, your dentist could provide the relief you need to get a good night’s sleep. Talk to your dentist today to find out more about oral appliances and how you might benefit from using one.