Get More Sleep, Save Your Teeth!
Sleep deprivation is something many of us can relate to. In fact, over one third of adults are chronically sleep deprived due to increased time in front of the screen and an increased trend towards shift-work schedules. New research suggests that sleep deprivation may be a factor for periodontal disease, in which gums become swollen and recede over time.
During sleep, the body reboots and repairs itself, leading to significant physiological changes. Sleep lowers the amount of a stress hormone called cortisol, which in turn lowers inflammation that is characteristic of periodontal disease. It has been shown that cases of periodontitis and gingivitis increase as hours of sleep decrease. Therefore, prioritizing adequate sleep is one of the best methods to adopt in order to maintain oral health. Doing so can also lower the risk of other inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and heart disease.
As sleep deprivation becomes more widespread among the working population, it is important to evaluate unique approaches to treating diseases through a more holistic lens.