If you are having trouble sleeping and tend to snore a lot, your oral health could be a culprit.
Around 18 million Americans suffer from a condition called sleep apnea that hampers breathing patterns while you sleep.
So you may wake up feeling tired or lethargic due to the interruption in sleep patterns that wakes you up through the night. Luckily, your dentists may be able to help treat your condition. Wondering how? We reached out to a team of cosmetic dentists from San Antonio who practices at Stone Oaks Aesthetic to learn about the role a dentist can play in treating sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that interrupts your breathing frequently through the night while you sleep. This is usually caused when your airway gets blocked due to the throat’s muscles collapsing.
Such pauses may last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur as frequently as 30 times within an hour. Which is a worrying situation no doubt.
Snoring while you sleep is the most common symptom of having sleep apnea. You may also wake up throughout the night and have trouble sleeping soundly which can affect your mood and energy levels. You may also wake up with a dry mouth or headache and have low concentration levels.
The Relation Between Dental Health And Sleep Apnea
Your oral health could be a key indicator of sleep apnea. The first and most common symptom is bruxism a.k.a. teeth grinding. When you sleep, involuntary teeth grinding can tense your jaw muscles as a signal to your brain to wake up.
Your dentist will check for worn tooth surfaces which are signs of tooth grinding habit. Bruxism can also increase the risk of dental cavities, headaches, and jaw pain.
How Can Your Dentist Help?
Some dentists specialize in a field called dental sleep medicine. They work closely with your physicians and can play a key role to help identify and treat this sleep disorder. There are two ways your dentists can help treat sleep apnea- oral mouth appliances and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine.
The CPAP machine is the standard treatment these days. It releases a steady flow of air pressure which prevents your muscles from collapsing and obstructing your airway. This can help you sleep peacefully through the night and improve your concentration and energy levels during the day. Another option is wearing a special mouth appliance that looks like a mouthguard to stop teeth grinding and reposition your tongue to open up your airway. This method is best suited for patients with mild or moderate symptoms. It may also help reduce snoring and improve your overall dental health.
These oral devices are only provided by specialized dentists. They will create a mold of your teeth to craft a customized appliance that you can wear to sleep. These appliances are very affordable and easy to care for as well.
So if you are looking for a sleep apnea dentist in San Antonio, Tx. do visit Stone Oaks Aesthetics. They offer great care to patients and will customize a treatment to improve your sleep pattern and oral health. So book an appointment at the clinic right away!
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