Sleep apnea can make you feel fatigued all day, impact your blood pressure, and cause a number of other health conditions. But did you know that it could also impact your smile? In fact, many people may not realize that they even have sleep apnea until their dentist notices the symptoms.
Here are a few things to have your dentist check for:
Worn, Flat Teeth
As you sleep, your body will be fighting to open the airway in order to improve oxygen flow. Studies have shown that sleep apnea patients often grind and clench their teeth together forcefully when oxygen levels are low.
Dry Mouth / Sore Throat
Breathing (or trying to breathe) through your mouth will dry out your mucosal tissues. Mouth breathing generally makes your mouth feel very dry when you wake up. It can even contribute to bad breath. For the same reason, people with sleep apnea may also get sore throats regularly.
Dry mouth and poor circulation can make your smile more susceptible to gum disease. If you already have good oral hygiene and are experiencing unexpected gum health problems, it could be that you are not sleeping well enough at night.
Forcefully moving your jaw open or closed as you sleep (due to an attempt gain oxygen) could make the muscles around the TMJ feel fatigued. The stress of the condition causes muscle tension, creating pain or even headaches that radiate from the TMJ into the face.
If your dentist spots any of these problems or you are experiencing oral symptoms of sleep apnea – ask if an oral sleep apnea appliance can help!
Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
Sleep apnea can go undiagnosed until the symptoms are so significant that they interfere with everything in your day-to-day life. How can you know whether or not sleep apnea is something that you’re suffering from?
Symptoms of sleep apnea often include:
The condition of sleep apnea may develop over time, with or without snoring. As you are stressed during your sleep, you may tend to clench your jaws tightly together. This creates complications associated with TMJ disorder; such has headaches and muscle pain that radiates through the neck, shoulders and back. Constant waking throughout the night is caused by lack of oxygen flow, which results in excessive tiredness throughout the day. While your dentist can screen for sleep apnea, you will need to see a sleep physician and have a sleep study completed before your dentist can help.
How can my dentist help?
Once you’ve officially been diagnosed with sleep apnea or have had a sleep study performed, your dentist can take steps to manage the condition. Many people find that wearing a custom fitted oral sleep apnea appliance can improve their sleep as soon as the first night. You may even be able to eliminate the use of CPAP equipment.
A custom oral prosthesis will naturally open your airway by sliding the lower jaw forward. This prevents the tongue, tonsils, soft palate and back of the throat from sealing themselves against one another.
Are you ready to get the quality of sleep that you and your loved one deserves? Call your dentist today to find out more.
Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
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