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Sleep Apnea and Oral Health

Ever wake up feeling tired after a full night’s sleep? Are you a loud snorer? These may be indicators that you could be one of the millions of people suffering from sleep apnea. This condition not only affects your sleep but can also affect your oral health. 

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and often occur multiple times per hour. 

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

While there are other reasons for some of these symptoms, it’s important to get checked out if you think they might be caused by sleep apnea. Ignoring the symptoms could have negative impact on your overall health.

The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Oral Health

Sleep apnea can impact your oral health in many ways, including:

Dry Mouth: Frequent pauses in breathing can cause mouth breathing, which can lead to dryness. A dry mouth increases the risk of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): People with sleep apnea tend to also grind their teeth at night. This can wear down enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity and/or damage.

TMJ Disorders: Sleep apnea can exacerbate temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, causing jaw pain and discomfort.

Gum Disease: Prolonged periods of poor sleep quality can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections, including gum disease.

How Flawless Dental Can Help

At Flawless Dental, we understand the connection between sleep apnea and oral health. Here’s how we can assist you:

  1. Sleep Apnea Screening: If you suspect you have sleep apnea, your dentist can provide you with information about how to get a sleep apnea screening.
  1. Oral Health Evaluation: At your regular check-ups, we can check for signs of dry mouth, bruxism, and TMJ disorders. Should you have any signs that can be attributed to sleep apnea, we can discuss possible treatment options, tailored to you.
  1. Oral Appliance Therapy: After a screening test and assessment, we can help you get the necessary oral appliance to support you in treating sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea can take a toll on your overall health and well-being, but with the right treatment, you can reclaim restful nights and protect your oral health. 

If you suspect you have sleep apnea or are experiencing related oral health issues, don’t wait. Give us a call at (617) 332-2872 or fill out our appointment form today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward better sleep and a healthier smile.