Your sleep patterns could be impacting your oral health. A recent study suggests that lack of sleep is identified as a factor that may play a role in the progression of periodontal disease, better known as gum disease. Subjects participating in the study who slept a minimum of seven to eight hours per night exhibited greater resistance to the disease than those who slept six hours or less. Though limited, studies linking hours of sleep to oral health may indicate that a shortage of sleep can impair the body’s immune system from responding to diseases such as gum disease. Further research may suggest that lifestyle changes such as adding additional hours of sleep may improve not only our general health, but our oral health as well. Try your hardest to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. It could be impacting much more than you are aware.