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Sleep Apnea and Your Dental Health

Posted on 4/1/2024 by Weo Admin
Person with sleep apnea sleepingIf your family has been complaining about your loud snoring that shakes the house, or you find yourself completely exhausted even if you have just awakened, you may have a common sleep disorder called sleep apnea. While many people know that sleep apnea can affect your overall physical health, sleep apnea can affect your dental health as well.

What Exactly Is Sleep Apnea?

A sleep disorder causes sleep apnea, which means a virus or bacteria does not cause it. Its origin is unknown. Also, a disorder can affect more than one system in your body. If you have sleep apnea, something happens during sleep that causes you to have difficulty breathing. For example, some people have excess tissue in their throats that makes breathing difficult. People with sleep apnea wake constantly at night due to their breathing difficulties, even if they do not realize it.

How Can Sleep Apnea Affect My Dental Health?

The main way that sleep apnea affects dental health is through dry mouth. People with sleep apnea often sleep with open mouths to get more air into their lungs. When you sleep with your mouth open, your mouth dries out, and that allows bacteria to multiply. The bacteria in your mouth cause gum disease and tooth decay. The saliva in your mouth washes bacteria out of your mouth and into your stomach, which helps your oral hygiene.

Without your saliva to help, the bacteria create plaque and tartar, which eventually causes cavities to form. Also, if the bacteria settle along your gum line, they can cause an infection called gum disease. The sooner you get your sleep apnea treated, the better for your mouth.

What Should I Do?

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact our office. Our dentists have some great treatment options that are less invasive than the standard face mask many sleep apnea patients wear. It is time you made an appointment to talk to us as soon as possible. Just think how much more sleep you could be getting!

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