Snoring is a serious issue and it just might be destroying your mouth. Many people that snore often have no idea how destructive it can be to their health. Many of these people not only snore, but have sleep apnea as well. Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that causes a sleeping person to stop breathing for ten seconds or longer. This type of disorder affects almost 20 million people in America leaving many of them sleep deprived and some with damaged teeth.
Sleep apnea patients often grind their teeth due to the disorder. The sleeping brain goes through varying levels of sleep each night. As muscles relax throughout the body the heavy jaw easily blocks the person’s airway. The patient will then usually grind their teeth to reopen the airway. Grinding teeth not only breaks down the teeth themselves, but leads to jaw and neck pain in many situations.
Many sleep apnea patients have no idea they have the disorder. They go about their days tired and lethargic. Some patients know they snore, but do not know they have sleep apnea. A dentist can detect symptoms many people would never think were related to snoring or sleep apnea. Some of these symptoms include:
Patients diagnosed with sleep apnea often have the inflammatory gum disease periodontitis. Periodontal disease could be caused by sleep apnea increasing inflammation throughout the body. Periodontitis damages not only the teeth, but the entire mouth.
Teeth grinding can heavily damage your teeth. The excessive wear and tear from grinding leads to tooth decay and damage. Dentists will treat grinding in many different ways. A mouthguard is one method of treatment, although some dentists believe mouthguards actually cause sleep apnea patients to sleep even worse than without one.
Many dentists now treat teeth grinding by treating the obstruction of the airway caused by sleep apnea. Often dentists work with sleep doctors to decide the best treatment for each individual patient. Studies have shown that when dental patients with sleep apnea are treated with continuous positive airway pressure, teeth grinding stopped.
If you think you could be damaging your teeth from snoring, call to schedule an appointment with Gables Sedation & Family Dentistry today. One visit could lead to the first good night of sleep in a long time and an entire new outlook on life!