This is a topic that makes one wonder what the correlation is, between oral health and a child's sleep. 

However, the answer lies in the fact that oral health largely affects general health and vice-versa.


Parents are usually concerned about several aspects of child health but pay little or no attention to their oral health which could be a key determinant as well as an indication of health or illness. Some parents simply believe that once their child is using the best natural toothpaste for their teeth, no oral health problems would come up. They hardly ever consider the need for regular check-ups by a dentist. As such, it is important to take your child for regular dental checkups; best if it's at good clinics like the Nooga dentistry dental clinic.

A good example of how dental health and affects general wellbeing is the fact that gum disease is connected to several diseases; including rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and diabetes among others. Many of these conditions have symptoms that are sure to affect an individual's sleep. When it's a child, it gets even worse as their coping strategies are not quite developed, especially when compared to coping strategies in adults.

Ordinarily, the growth of teeth in infants make them come down with several symptoms, including pain and high temperatures, causing them to have difficulty sleeping. This is a pointer to the fact that if an infant or a young child has oral health problems, it is very likely to disturb their sleep. 

Oral health can affect general health and the rest of your body based on the fact that the mouth has over 500 bacterial strains, as identified in dental biofilm. 

However, with good oral care in addition to the body's natural defences, these bacteria wouldn't harm you. In fact, your oral mucosa serves as a barrier to give you good defences from pathogens. Salivary secretions also help in protecting the mouth.

On-going inflammation in the mouth in addition to other conditions can let bacteria into the bloodstream, which can, in turn, result in the inflammation of other parts of the body. In a child, symptoms are sure to be more devastating since they have not experienced the same level of development as adults. Thus, sleep would be affected, especially due to pain and discomfort.

Poor oral health can also adversely affect the sleep of a child in the sense that tooth loss and advanced tooth decay can cause lots of pain. Usually, pain is usually excruciating to the point that an extraction or any other dental procedure may become a necessity. Although these procedures are solutions and are usually done under local anaesthesia, healing following this repair can be really painful (sometimes, the salt solution is employed), thus affecting a child’s sleep. 

Vitamin deficiencies and infections (bacterial, viral, and fungal) involving the teeth can also cause forms of pain and discomfort that would affect a child's sleep. Hence, no matter how we look at it, most dental problems (especially in children) lead to some level of discomfort that end up affecting a kid’s sleep. We can conclude that it is better to prevent such cases from occurring at all. 

Final Thoughts 

Oral health problems in kids affect sleep, but there's more to it. 

Oral health problems can also result in the difficulty in concentrating on some important learning experiences, impaired speech development, and absence from school or other programs that help in developing the child. Children with chronic dental pain (especially) lack the ability to focus. They are easily distracted and have difficulty completing tasks in school. When kids do not get adequate sleep, they do not function properly too. 

Therefore, it is important that kids brush and floss regularly. Visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups can also guard kids against oral health problems that can affect their sleep. 


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