Surprised to hear that your dentist or others are now treating patients for sleep apnea?
It’s actually a doctor who would make a diagnosis for sleep apnea. But many a dentist has alerted patients to the signs that they could have a sleeping disorder.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Dentistry – How Are They Related?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA for short) is a common and serious form of sleep apnea. It happens when structures within the throat relax and collapse, blocking air from passing through.
Sufferers tend to snore loudly and their sleep is disrupted when airflow gets completely blocked off for seconds at a time. But aside from the snoring, they may not realize any sign that they are experiencing this.
Your dentist may point out to you indications in your health and oral anatomy that can make you prone to OSA. One of the telltale signs, however, shows up in your teeth.
When your oxygen supply is cut down in your sleep, your brain goes into panic mode. It forces you awake to an extent so that you can draw a deep breath. The stress can make a lot of people clench and grind their teeth.
Signs of heavy wear on your tooth enamel could point to a sleeping problem.
What Can Your Dentist Do?
If your dentist notices the signs of sleep apnea, he or she will may send you home with a sleep study that you can perform in your own house. Your doctor may advise a CPAP machine, depending on how the results are interpreted.
As an alternative, your dentist may be able to custom design a small mouth guard that helps prop open your jaw and keep it from sliding back.
A better night’s sleep could start with your next dental checkup!
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1646 W U.S. 50
O’Fallon, IL 62269
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