Are you getting a good night's sleep? Sleep-related breathing disorders can have a negative effect on your oral health. Snoring and insomniac are both signs of a sleeping disorder known as, sleep apnea. This disorder can disrupt your sleep cycle caused by repeated breathing patterns due to the collapse of the upper airway. These natural pauses in breathing can last anywhere in between a few seconds to a few minutes.
There are three types of sleep apnea including:
Sleep apnea can cause more issues than just your sleep quality. In fact, the connection between sleep apnea and oral health is the significant increase in tooth decay and gum disease. Dry mouth, teeth grinding, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) are all risks that can be increased by sleep apnea. A dry mouth allows bacteria to do more damage to your mouth as it also creates foul breath. The motion of teeth grinding allows the mouth to open when it narrows or collapses, causing obstructive sleep apnea. TMD can also be the result of pushing the jaw forward to open the airway.
Some common signs of sleep disorders are:
This can affect people of all ages and if you experience any of these symptoms, please inform your dental provider. They are able to recognize signs of sleep apnea due to worn enamel, high amounts of tooth decay, or severe gum disease. More than likely, you will be asked about your sleeping habits and may recommend a solution.
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