What Does Sleep Apnea Have to do With the Dentist?
Did you know that your dentist could help you when it comes to sleep apnea and snoring? Snoring is one of the conditions that people with sleep apnea face and rather than ponder about the cause, it’s time you consult your dentist for sleep apnea Sterling Heights, MI because it is most probably due to your oral health.
Which is exactly why it is no surprise that most dentists ask you about how well you sleep during oral checkups. They can early diagnose patients with the condition through an oral examination.
It is estimated that 22 million Americans deal with sleep apnea and a majority of them go undiagnosed. The condition may vary from individual to individual but the interruption in breathing can be dangerous.
There are three oral reasons why the disruption occurs, these are:
- A small jaw
- A large tongue
- Flaccid muscles at the back of the throat
How to tell if you have sleep apnea?
Dr. Farhat says there are various signs to sleep apnea. One of the first telling sign of sleep disorders is the grinding of your teeth. Which is exactly why dentists can diagnose sleep apnea at an early stage. They can notice the tooth surface becoming worn out which raises a flag telling them that the patient has been grinding their teeth.
Grinding results in not just your teeth wearing out but also receding and inflamed gums. As the teeth wear down, it also becomes more susceptible to cavities so that is another sign dentists look for.
Along with teeth grinding, sleep specialist says the three oral reasons for disruption listed above are also signs of sleep apnea.
What does sleep apnea do?
As you grind your teeth while you sleep, there is a shortness of breath, which automatically tells your brain to wake up. In order to grind your teeth, you must close your mouth which closes one of the two passages of air into the body. You see as you sleep, you don’t really control where the air goes from the nose or the mouth. So if one of the two passages are sealed off, the brain automatically directs you to wake up because it isn’t getting enough air.
Sleep apnea results in individuals constantly waking up through the night, which impacts their sleep quality and can lead to them feeling fatigue in the morning. The disorder has also been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
What are some sleep apnea treatments?
Before you begin any treatment related to sleep apnea, your dentist may recommend a sleep study. This will note your sleep cycle and your brain activity as you sleep allowing them to determine if it is disrupted or not.
There are different sleep apnea treatments you can opt for with the night guard being one of the easiest to access.
While most individuals opt for an over the counter night guard, this is usually not the best solution. A custom-made night guard is a better option and your dentist can help you with it. The guard will reduce the occurrence of teeth grinding, in turn, reducing the chances of sleep apnea.
For those that have a serious case of sleep apnea, surgery might be recommended.
If you feel that you have sleep apnea then it is important you consult your dentist right away. Dentists in Sterling Heights, MI not only help diagnose the condition but also provide you with the best treatment option for sleep apnea.