Having Difficulty Sleeping? It May Be Teeth Related

It’s Sleep Awareness week! Did you know that it is estimated that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages? Sleep apnea is one of them. And some oral health issues can affect sleep quality such as: dry mouth, teeth grinding, and oral pain.

Contact Young Family Dental today to learn what to do if you think your sleep issues are related to your oral health. 

Sleep Apnea and Your Teeth

Sleep apnea affects about 22 million Americans.  This medical condition stems from an over-relaxation of airway/throat muscles that partially block the airway, disrupting oxygen intake during sleep. The body responds to the lack of air by waking. Sometimes, it even will cause you to wake with a gasp for air. Most often though, you don’t even realize you have wakened, hundreds of times through the night.  Those with sleep apnea are more at risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Also, since sleepers struggle to breathe at night, sleep apnea can affect oral health. Symptoms of this include dry mouth, bruxism, periodontal disease and even tooth loss.

How are Sleep Issues and Dry Mouth Connected?

Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, can make sleeping extremely difficult because of the discomfort that forces you to wake up and need a glass of water. Dry mouth–especially at night–is very common, primarily in the 65+ group since the production of saliva falls by 40 percent after this age. The cause for dry mouth at night could be that you have nasal obstruction, forcing you to breathe through your mouth; sleep apnea; medications that cause dry mouth; or another medical condition. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms to try and pinpoint the cause. Dry mouth can have adverse effects on your oral health since you need saliva to help fight cavities and tooth decay.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a common habit for some at night while they sleep. However, most will only detect the symptoms of it upon waking. Teeth grinding can cause sleep disruptions and cause you to feel unrested. According to the American Sleep Association, teeth grinding usually happens in the early stages of sleep, just before REM sleep begins, and can pass through several cycles. This condition throws off your normal sleep patterns by delaying REM sleep or causing you to wake up before your deep sleep cycle begins. Teeth grinding is treated with mouthguards (worn while sleeping), counselling about triggers, relaxation techniques, occlusal splints, and botulinum toxin type A injections.

If you are experiencing mouth or jaw pain when you awake, you may be grinding your teeth. Contact Young Family Dental today to learn what to do if you think your sleep issues are related to your oral health. 

Oral Pain

Toothaches can make it exceedingly difficult to sleep. Even minor gingivitis can be uncomfortable enough to make it difficult to fall into deep sleep. Anxiety over tooth problems can also make our nights not as restful as the should be. Some oral pain can also stem from jaw issues and discomfort. This could be from teeth grinding, malocclusion, or jaw-clenching.

The best thing to do is to get a member of our Young Family Dental team involved as soon as possible. We can uncover where your tooth pain is and help to eliminate it. We can also help you with any dental anxieties you are feeling so that you can be more at peace during the day AND at night when you need to sleep.

Call for an Oral Health and Wellness Consultation Today!

Young Family Dental is an established practice with a wide range of treatments and technology to keep your oral health and wellness in check. If you are struggling to get the sleep you require and are suspicious that it is related to your oral health, contact us today. We offer five convenient location practices in Utah: West JordanRivertonAmerican ForkSaratoga Springs or Orem . Schedule a personal consultation with one of our dentists to establish a successful home-based oral hygiene plan based on your specific needs.


OREM 801-899-1095

AMERICAN FORK 801-396-2295


RIVERTON 801-252-6369

WEST JORDAN 801-613-1816