November is National Sleep Comfort Month. Science has yet to understand why we sleep, but we know that proper sleep improves your brain function, memory, heart health, longevity, weight loss, and overall well-being. According the American Psychological Association, almost two-thirds of all adults have trouble sleeping several nights a week. But teeth are associated with several common sleep issues, so if you’re waking up exhausted or lose energy you need throughout the day, it may be time to see your dentist.
Snoring. Many people believe snoring is caused primarily by nasal blockages, but the most common source is a misalignment of the soft tissue far back on the roof of your mouth. When air can’t pass freely through your mouth and throat to your lungs, this area can bump up against your uvula, creating that snore sound. Wearing a mouth guard can slightly shift your jaw so air flows properly to your lungs.
Grinding. Due to stress, anxiety, malocclusion (improper teeth alignment), or aging, some people unconsciously grate their upper and lower teeth together, interfere with sleep as facial muscles may become sore and pull you out of a more restful cycle. Wearing a mouth guard will prevent damage to your teeth.
Sleep apnea. If you are one of the 12 million Americans with sleep apnea, your airways become so obstructed during sleep that you stop getting adequate oxygen to your brain, forcing your mouth open to gasp for air, and you wake up, preventing a deep sleep.