Sleep apnea, although sometimes mild, can also significantly affect your health, causing problems ranging from dry mouth to exhaustion to developing type 2 diabetes. Because the consequences can be so severe, and in some cases, even life-threatening, it’s essential that you see a dentist if you suffer from loud snoring. Some people don’t realize they have a sleep disorder until pushed to see a doctor by their long-suffering partner.
At Aurora Dental Group, we offer a variety of treatments for sleep apnea, including snoring therapy.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep, often by the tongue or jaw. It causes the person to wake up partially due to the lack of oxygen, resulting in choking or loud snoring. However, often sufferers don’t recognize the symptoms on their own and merely feel exhausted during the day, experience headaches or jaw tension, or develop other medical issues like high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
If you feel tired during the day, despite getting enough sleep, and suffer from any of these oral health problems, ask your dentist about sleep apnea.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, often goes hand-in-hand with sleep apnea. To counteract the relaxation of the tongue or soft palate, which causes the air obstruction, you might unconsciously grip your jaw and grind your teeth. While this could help alleviate some of the sleep apnea symptoms, it can also wear down your teeth, causing decay and cavities.
Sleep apnea often causes sufferers to sleep with their mouth open, which can cause dry mouth. This can lead to increased plaque, more cavities and tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth sores caused by infections. A dentist can treat these conditions with antibiotics, regular cleanings, and fillings, but they will return unless you treat the root cause.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the skull on each side. Sleep apnea can cause a TMJ disorder, or TMD, resulting in a clenched jaw. Those who suffer from TMDs could experience uncomfortable headaches, including migraines, jaw aches, and teeth grinding.
Who is at Risk?
While anyone can develop sleep apnea, the most commonly affected group is older men. However, several other risk factors can make it more likely for you to develop sleep apnea. If you feel exhausted or suffer from headaches, toothaches, or jaw aches, and have one or more of these risk factors, contact your dentist.
- Over 40
- You have congestive heart failure
- You have recently had a stroke
- Taking narcotics
- Drinking alcohol regularly
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Overweight or obesity
Take Control of Your Sleep Apnea
To get control of your snoring and sleep apnea, contact the team at Aurora Dental Group today. We offer extensive treatment options for sleep apnea, including Tap 3 Elite, Snoring Therapy, Klearway, and the Myerson EMA.
Additionally, our dentists can treat any other dental issues your sleep apnea has caused. Our team can help whether you need treatment for gum disease, mouth sores, or worn down teeth. Call us today to learn about our sleep apnea treatment options and to schedule an appointment.