Is your partner concerned about your level of snoring? You may have sleep apnea. Beyond its impact on sleep quality for you and your spouse, this condition can have a significant effect on dental health. In this blog, your cosmetic dentistry professionals in Rowlett, TX, explore the connection between sleep apnea and dental wellness, discuss the signs and symptoms to watch for, and highlight how custom-designed sleep appliances can provide relief.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is more than just snoring on occasion, it is a sleep disorder characterized by dangerous interruptions in breathing during sleep. The most common form, known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open. This leads to frequent pauses in breathing, resulting in fragmented sleep patterns and decreased oxygen levels in the body.
How Does It Affect Oral Health?
This chronic condition has been linked to an increased incidence of bruxism, a condition where individuals grind or clench their teeth during sleep. Bruxism can cause tooth damage, jaw pain, and even tooth loss over time. You may notice that your teeth appear flat on the edges or are more sensitive to hot and cold beverages. The strain on the jaw joints and excessive tooth wear can be attributed to the body’s attempt to open the airway and overcome the obstruction during sleep.
It can also cause an increase in decay and periodontal disease due to dry mouth. Saliva plays a very important role in neutralizing and washing away debris and harmful bacteria. Without it, you are left vulnerable to these infections.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch For:
- Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, particularly in obstructive sleep apnea cases. The snoring is often loud and accompanied by brief pauses in breathing.
- People with this condition often feel excessively tired during the day, even after a full night’s sleep. This is due to the interruptions in breathing, which prevent restful sleep.
- Sufferers may wake up abruptly, choking, or gasping for breath. This can be a frightening experience and a clear indication of a potential sleep disorder.
Custom-Designed Sleep Appliance
If you have any of these symptoms, we may be able to help! Custom-designed sleep appliances can be an effective treatment option for sleep apnea. These oral devices are designed to fit comfortably in the mouth and gently advance the lower jaw, helping to keep the airway open during sleep. Many patients have found relief and a better quality of life through this simple device which we can custom make for you. They can improve sleep quality, protect the teeth, and are a less invasive option than a CPAP machine.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Sleep apnea not only affects sleep quality and general health but also poses significant risks to dental health. Consult with us to determine the most suitable treatment option for your specific needs. Our goal is to help restore restful sleep and optimal oral health, so give us a call at Rodem Tree Dental in Rowlett, TX today at (972)475-2321!