sleeping girl

The Relationship Between Sleep and Dental Health

Good sleep is essential—much like having a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly, a good night’s sleep fuels the body so that it’s ready for the next day ahead. You can immediately tell the difference between two people who slept enough and who didn’t—that’s how much of an effect sleeping has on every human body system. 

Sleeping at least eight hours a day is more than just lying down. A lot of things happen to your body when you’re asleep. Getting enough sleep can benefit you in many ways, such as:

  • Improve your concentration and productivity;
  • Lower your risk of weight gain;
  • Maximise physical performance;
  • Strengthen heart health; and
  • Prevent feelings of depression

Although the advantages of sleep are common knowledge, many people tend to sleep less and even completely deprive themselves of it to spend more time on other matters they consider more important. Remember, never underestimate the importance of sleep! What you think is harmless actually has an impact on every part of your body—even your teeth and gums!

Sleeping for Good Oral Health

“Sleep and teeth? How does that work?”

Your oral health and the number of hours you sleep has a much more significant connection than you think. Any dentist will tell you that sleep deprivation and poor-quality sleep is terrible for your dental health. Rest makes a world of difference! When you sleep a good amount every night, you will notice your oral health improve. Good sleep can benefit your dental health by:

Strengthening Your Enamel

Sleeping helps repair your blood vessels to allow for the successful transporting of essential nutrients such as calcium and phosphate to the bone tissues of your teeth. This results in the strengthening and replenishing of your tooth enamel.

Fighting Infections

As you sleep, the production of cytokines, a protein that helps battle off infections and inflammation, increases. The mouth is always filled with bacteria, but improving your immune system by sleeping ensures that it is protected from gum disease, tooth infections, and tooth decay.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Unfortunately, getting a perfect eight hours of sleep every night only happens in an ideal world. Everyone lives busy lives, and sometimes, they don’t have enough time to allot for recovery. When you don’t have adequate and healthy sleep, it can significantly impact your oral health.

Losing teeth is expected as you grow older, but some people experience it early on due to many lifestyle factors, including lack of sleep. Studies show that not having enough sleep is directly connected to having periodontitis, a gum infection that leads to loosening teeth or tooth loss. 

When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it produces more inflammatory hormones and causes gingivitis and then periodontitis. Keep in mind that periodontitis can only be treated, not cured; no dental surgery can bring back what you lost.


Maintaining an oral hygiene routine at home is good, but it isn’t enough. To have excellent oral health, you need to improve every part of your life, from the food you eat to the number of hours you sleep. Make sure to get as much sleep as possible and have regular dental check-ups at Milton for healthy teeth and gums.

Leave it to our dentists in Milton Keynes to address all of your dental concerns! We pride ourselves on providing only the highest standard of dentistry to our patients. We look forward to welcoming you soon so you can experience ‘dentistry as it should be.’ Book an appointment today!