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How Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Oral Health

Dr Martin Abelar - February 27, 2023 - 0 comments

Do you find yourself struggling with frequent jaw pain that affects your daily (and nightly) life? Serious jaw pain that keeps you up at night can affect more than just your sleep cycle, believe it or not, it can affect your oral health, too.

While we tend to think of oral health problems as more of a daytime problem, here are just a few ways that a poor night’s sleep can affect your oral health, too.


Periodontitis, or gum disease, can be caused by several things, including poor oral hygiene, smoking, and even sleep deprivation. While it is not known exactly why sleep deprivation can cause periodontitis, studies have shown that those with sleep deprivation have a higher risk of developing periodontitis.


Inflammation of the gums is known as gingivitis, and it is a precursor to periodontitis. Inflammation can be caused by many things, including lack of sleep. That’s because when you don’t sleep well, your body creates more hormones that cause inflammation, which can in turn inflame your gums, causing sensitivity, bleeding gums, and gum sensitivity.


Bruxism, or teeth grinding can be caused by sleep deprivation, because when you are sleep deprived you can be more stressed out during the day, and thus more likely to grind your teeth or clench your jaw.

This in turn can cause more jaw pain, as well as broken, chipped, or cracked teeth.

Weakened Immune System

When you are sleep deprived, it can weaken your immune system, which in turn hampers your ability to ward off illness and infection. This can make inflammation worse, but it can also worsen tooth infections, making them harder to treat and more painful.

Depression and Anxiety

Sleep deprivation can worsen conditions like anxiety and depression, which can cause many oral health problems. In some cases those who suffer from severe depression struggle to care for their personal hygiene, including brushing their teeth, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly.

The Solution

If you have severe jaw pain that keeps you up at night, the solution is clear. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Abelar to discuss your issues. You could be suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and could benefit from treatment for this painful condition.

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