Your oral health and the importance of quality sleep

Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss worldwide, referring to infection of the supporting structures of the tooth, principally the gingiva, periodontal ligament, cementum, and alveolar bone.[1] Periodontal diseases are inflammatory diseases in which microbial etiologic factors induce a series of host responses that mediate inflammatory events. Bacteria and inflammatory mediators not only confined to periodontal tissue but also may enter the blood and disseminate systemically having a measurable impact on systemic inflammation.[2] In susceptible individuals, dysregulation of inflammatory and immune pathways leads to chronic inflammation, tissue destruction, and disease.[3]

In recent years, there has been intense interest in potential associations between periodontal disease and various chronic systemic diseases and conditions, including cardiac diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive impairment, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.[4] A number of risk factors (smoking, diabetes, immunosuppression, genetic factors, stress, and age) contribute to the susceptibility of individuals to periodontal diseases and to the pathogenesis and severity of the disease. Studies of the influence of risk factors on disease progression have been focused on the inflammatory reaction. These studies concluded that a sound inflammatory host response is needed for successful periodontal defense.[5]

Sleep is a complex and essentially biological process that is required on a daily basis for all humans regardless of age, sex, or ethnic origin. Sleep has important roles in controlling the functions of many other body systems, and this becomes very evident in states of sleep deprivation.[6] Sleep deprivation is not limited to a special group of people, a nation, a gender, or a particular age group, rather, it is a new human behavior observed among millions of adults and children worldwide.[7,8,9]

Sleep deprivation has a profound effect on many aspects of physiologic function such as alertness, memory processing, the repair of cell damage, brain development, cognition, mood, hormonal regulation, risk of depression, increased cortisol, and ghrelin, impaired glucose metabolism, immune function, autonomic activities, increased inflammatory, and proinflammatory marker.[6,10] Both acute and chronic sleep deprivation may activate inflammatory processes, leading to increasing C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations, increase peripheral circulation of leukocytes, increase levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α).[11]

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