It is widely known that it is essential to visit your dentist twice a year to maintain good oral health; but did you know that your teeth can also have an impact on how you sleep? Generally, when people think about teeth straightening and alignment options, they think of the number of cosmetic reasons teeth straightening may sound enticing to them. However, teeth straightening can also have a lot to do with the way you sleep. Read on to learn more about sleep apnea, its connection to your teeth straightening, and how to treat it.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops. If you snore loudly and feel tired and fatigued, after a full night’s rest you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is considered to be a dangerous sleep disorder because it can lead to a variety of different health complications. If you feel you may suffer from sleep apnea, it is best to consult with a dentist or doctor to find out the cause, and how to treat it.
The three main types of sleep apnea are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea – the most common form that occurs when throat muscles relax
- Central sleep apnea – which occurs when your brain does not send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome – which occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea
If you feel that you might have sleep apnea it is important to consult with a doctor or dentist right away.
How is sleep apnea connected to dental health?
If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to consult with your dentist to get a full evaluation and exam. Luckily, your dntl bar dentist has the knowledge and training to diagnose and treat your sleep apnea. According to the ADA, dentists can look for the common features of sleep apnea while reviewing a patient’s health history and conducting routine exams. During your exam, they will start by taking x-rays of your mouth and neck to look out for irregularities in tissue around your airways. Additionally, your dntl bar dentist will look out for signs of tooth grinding, potential breakage, or even a spike in cavities caused by the increase of bacteria.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common medical conditions in the United States, yet 80% of moderate to severe cases go undiagnosed posing as a bigger potential risk to the patient.
Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders may lead to a multitude of dangerous conditions such as hypertension, liver problems, fatigue, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and depression.
Additionally, this disorder may contribute to problems with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders as well, which can lead to jaw pain, problems chewing, grinding, or clicking in the joint, or lockjaw.
What can your dentist do to help?
Depending on what is actually causing your sleep apnea, there are a variety of different treatment options available. The most common cause is a misaligned jaw and teeth. With the help of your dntl bar dentist the proper alignment of your teeth may solve your concerns. At dntl bar there are many different alignemnt options available that your dentist can discuss with you. Some include traditional braces, traditional clear aligners, and our newest candid clear aligners.
Think you have sleep apnea? Click here to book your appointment with a dntl bar professional!