Obstructive Sleep Apnea
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is abnormal pauses in breathing while sleeping. During these pauses, the brain, and the rest of the body, may not get enough oxygen.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.
Affects of Sleep Apnea On Your Oral Health
Sleep apnea has been shown to have a negative impact on your teeth and oral health too. Issues that can be caused by sleep apena include:
- Cracked or worn teeth: Grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep—a condition called bruxism—is more common in people who have sleep apnea. Over time, grinding of the teeth can can cause tooth sensitivity, and even cracked, chipped, or damaged teeth.
- Jaw pain: Sleep apnea is associated with chronic pain disorders, including jaw pain like TMJ or TMD. If it hurts to open and move your jaw bones, you may have one of these conditions.
- Higher risk of developing cavities: People who have sleep apnea are likelier to breathe through their mouths—which can dry out protective saliva and lead to more tooth decay. As a result, you may be at a higher risk for enamel erosion and cavities.
Being diagnosed and treating your sleep apnea can reduce or sometimes even eliminate these dental issues. Talk to your dentist to find out the best treatment plan for you.
Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder and can be dangerous, but is treatable in most cases.
What Treatment is Available For Sleep Apnea?
Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy should be provided by a qualified dentist who has technical skill and knowledge in dental sleep medicine.
Schedule An Appointment
Do you suffer from sleep apnea, or think that oral appliance therapy may be right for you? Make an appointment today for a consultation.