How to improve sleep with teeth straightening
A good night’s sleep is paramount to our overall health. The importance of sleep simply cannot be overstated. While most people believe that getting enough hours each night is enough, the fact is that sleep quality matters a lot. And, sometimes, your teeth may create a barrier to having quality sleep. Luckily, in those cases, it is possible to improve sleep with teeth straightening. The best teeth alignment solutions will not only provide you with a beautiful smile, but they will also affect the quality of your sleep. This article will show you the connection between straight teeth and quality sleep, explain common oral issues that are related to oral health, and show you how orthodontics can help you achieve better sleep.
Why is quality sleep so important?
Many people report that they feel tired even after sleeping the “full” 8 hours. Oftentimes, this is connected to sleep issues due to a lack of oral health. And when you don’t get enough quality sleep, you may suffer from all sorts of issues such as:
- Getting sick more often
- Gain weight more easily
- Reduced sports performance
- Increased stress levels
- Worsened mood
- Thinking less clearly
And, of course, your overall health suffers as well. If your sleep issues are connected to dental problems, there are many different types of braces to take into consideration to solve this issue. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to visit your orthodontist and have them perform a checkup to see whether any oral problems are interfering with your sleep. You can also try to self-diagnose by having someone look at you when you sleep. It is practically impossible to figure out these things on your own, due to the fact that you’re unconscious at the time. That being said, what you can do is figure out whether you are suffering from some oral health issues that are connected to the quality of your sleep.
Most common sleep issues related to oral health
While sleep is not always influenced by oral issues, they are often the “prime suspects”. Even though you may not have had any warning signs that you need braces as of yet, poor sleep quality may indicate it is time to visit the orthodontist and improve sleep with teeth straightening. Here are some of the most common issues that you may want to be on the lookout for:
- Breathing through the mouth
- Teeth grinding
- Crossbite, underbite, and overbite
These issues can lead to developing sleep apnea, which is caused by throat tissue collapsing into the airway. In some cases, the tissue may completely block the airflow and cause numerous side effects. It is almost impossible to figure out if you have sleep apnea on your own, you will need to either have your bed partner look for its signs, or take a sleep test. Some of the symptoms include gasping for air while sleeping, morning headaches, increased irritability, and loud snoring.
But your sleep quality may simply suffer from one of the common oral health issues which can be easily rectified by finding a good orthodontist. Now, let’s take a bit more detailed look into how these issues prevent us from getting quality sleep.
The best way to breathe while you sleep is through your nose. But many people tend to breathe through their mouths while they sleep. Breathing through the mouth can lead to various health issues such as chronic bad breath and inflamed gums, and it also significantly increases the risk of cavities. When you breathe through your mouth, what happens is that your mouth tissue dries out. And this means that you do not get sufficient oxygen and do not generate enough saliva.
Teeth grinding (or Bruxism) is what happens when you constantly clench or grind your teeth while you sleep. It is commonly referred to nocturnal teeth grinding and places undue pressure on your teeth and jaw. Not only will teeth grinding lower the quality of your sleep, but it can also cause headaches, discomfort, soreness, and even pain.
While you might not be feeling it in your unconscious state, the quality of your sleep will suffer from it. And not to mention that you will be degrading your teeth all the while. If you want to maintain your oral health, you will want to visit your orthodontist and have them help you find the solution.
Crossbite, underbite, and overbite
If you are suffering from either a crossbite, underbite, or overbite, chances are that your sleep quality suffers from it. Depending on the severity of these issues, a good night’s sleep can become all but impossible. Not to mention that an overbite, for example, can lead to many other health issues, as we mention in our guide to overbite correction. Luckily, it is not that difficult to correct any of these issues, all you need to do is visit your dental professional and have them recommend the correct treatment.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
TMJ disorder is quite common. This disorder is usually caused by dental issues or injuries to the jaw. But it is entirely possible that you develop a TMJ disorder (TMD) even without having any obvious causes. This condition can significantly impact the quality of your sleep, as it may make it very difficult to open or close your mouth. According to a NIM study, people with TBD are 43% more likely to have obstructive sleep issues.
How can you improve sleep with teeth straightening?
Considering that straight teeth greatly contribute to your sleep quality, by the virtue of eliminating all of the common causes of sleep apnea, it is possible to improve sleep with teeth straightening. For example, straightening your teeth with the use of teeth braces can eliminate mouth breathing. Not to mention that wearing braces will also help you overcome your smile insecurities. Retainers will also eliminate Bruxism and allow you to sleep comfortably throughout the night. Basically, orthodontics is there to help you fix the underlying problems and allow you to get the most out of your sleep.
To start with, you should consult your dental health professional and verify whether your dental issues are interfering with your sleep. It is entirely possible that you may need to wear teeth braces for some time but you may also be given other solutions. Your orthodontist might suggest the use of certain dental appliances to stop your sleep apnea. For example, Mandibular Advancement Splint will help you move your lower jaw slightly forward, opening up the airflow and preventing snoring at the same time. Of course, if your sleep problems are due to an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or due to a misalignment of the jaw, braces are the best solution. They will help you straighten your teeth and improve your sleep quality at the same time.
A few tips for sleeping with braces
Wearing braces while you sleep may be uncomfortable at times. If you want to improve sleep with teeth straightening and are having issues sleeping with braces on, you might want to try the following:
- Sleeping on your back
- Utilizing dental wax
- Keep your gums and teeth clean
- Wear a nightguard
If you tend to sleep on your stomach or your side, the first thing to try is to sleep on your back. The reason for this is the fact that sleeping on the side puts additional pressure on your mouth. Your cheeks will be pressed against the pillow, after all, and if you wear braces that can irritate the mouth. Sleeping on the back minimizes the contact between the mouth and the braces, allowing you to relax
Dental wax is great in case you have tender gums or cheeks. This wax is placed over the braces, minimizing the irritation due to their contact with your cheeks. It is mostly used with braces that utilize wires and brackets but it is applicable with some other brace types as well.
Of course, it is also very important to keep your teeth and gums clean. While braces may interfere with your normal oral hygiene, it is of paramount importance that you clean your gums and teeth before you go to bed. By having your teeth and gums clean, you will avoid many of the symptoms that come with wearing braces while sleeping.
And if you also happen to grind your teeth at night, a nightguard will help you prevent any discomfort. You can also use a mouthguard for the same purpose. Before deciding on the nightguard or mouthguard, you will want to talk to your orthodontist.
Who can improve sleep with teeth straightening?
Straightening your teeth can help you get a good night’s sleep. But only if your sleep issues are connected to crooked teeth in one way or another. If you only want to improve your sleep quality, you will want to talk to a health professional before you opt for wearing any orthodontics. That being said, there are numerous health benefits of straightening your teeth that you don’t want to sleep on.
If you are looking for more information on invisible braces, dental trends, or top dental health networks, browse the rest of the Consumer Opinion Guide. Our knowledge database is your best resource when it comes to creating and maintaining a healthy smile!