Everyone knows that a good night’s sleep can make or break the day for you. It can prepare you for the endless possibilities of the day and help you fulfill your potential. But a lack of sleep, or a lack of a good night’s sleep, can negatively impact your work, your social life, and your health; including your dental health.
Recent studies have shown that poor sleep due to physical sleep disorders can contribute to patients’ dental anxiety, which in turn leads to poor dental health. It is a vicious cycle that begins with poor sleep leading to general anxiety and poor health, including poor dental health. This leads to negative dentist appointments, which leads to dental anxiety, which can contribute to sleep disorders, and so on.
Physical Sleep Disorders
There are certain sleep disorders that have negative dental side effects that can contribute to unpleasant dental appointments and dental anxiety. The most common of these disorders are:
- Bruxism: grinding or clenching your teeth during sleep. It can lead to constant fatigue, headaches, and TMJ.
- Obstructed airways: caused by various ailments such as enlarged tonsils, obesity, allergies, colds, and dry mouth. Obstructed airways can also be developmental. Obstructed airways can lead to snoring or sleep apnea, depending on the severity of the obstruction.
Bruxism can weaken the structure of your teeth dramatically over time by grinding away at the enamel. Patients with bruxism often have negative experiences at the dentist’s office because of the damage they’re doing to their teeth. This increases dental anxiety and, in turn, can make it hard to sleep.
Sleep apnea has a less direct form of the anxiety inducing cycle, but for some anxiety prone patients, hearing that they have a sleep disorder may increase the possibility of them developing other sleep disorders as a result of their dental anxiety.
How to End the Anxiety Cycle
A visit to your dentist can help you manage your physical sleep disorders (and in turn your dental anxiety). Discussing and assessing your sleep disorder with your dentist can help explain the procedures used and establish a trustworthy connection, which can help you feel more comfortable and safe.
Discussing your dental anxiety with your dentist is a great step towards breaking the dental anxiety cycle. Your dentist can discuss with you various methods for fighting dental anxiety (such as listening to music, eating healthy comfort foods, or sedation dentistry) which can help improve your dental health, the quality of your sleep, and your overall health.
If you need help controlling your dental anxiety in the Orlando area, please give us a call at (407) 834-6446 and schedule an appointment with sedation dentist Michael L. Weinstock DDS in Altamonte Springs. We are leaders in sedation dentistry and can help you overcome your dental anxiety.