Sleep Apnea is a severe sleep disorder that causes breathing interruptions during sleep. Without treatment, a person with Sleep Apnea will stop breathing multiple times during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times per night. This can lead to a long list of health problems, some of which are very dangerous. If you suffer from sleep apnea, your dentist may be the last person you would think of to contact for help, but they may be the key to your restful sleep. Read on to learn the connection between sleep apnea and your dentist.
Oral Health and Sleep Apnea
The interruptions in sleep caused by sleep apnea happen because of the muscles in the back of the throat are weak, the tongue is too large, the jaw is too small, or a combination of these factors that cause airway obstructions.
The First Clue to Sleep Apnea Lies in Your Teeth
One of the first signs of sleep apnea is teeth grinding, making dentists sometimes the first diagnosticians of sleep apnea. Your dentist will be able to spot worn teeth surfaces, breakage or inflamed gums, all of which are signs of teeth grinding. More cavities than usual in an otherwise healthy mouth can also be a sign of teeth grinding since the worn-down surfaces make teeth more susceptible to bacteria.
Dental Treatment for Sleep Apnea
A CPAP machine, a common tool used to treat sleep apnea, may not be right for everyone. If you’re looking for an alternative treatment, your dentist can help. An oral appliance worn while sleeping can provide the same help as a CPAP machine in a much simpler form. If you suffer from sleep apnea and are looking for options, Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts can help. Call for an appointment today.