At Egger Orthodontics, we want our patients knowledgeable on any issue that might affect their dental health. A difficulty sleeping and sleep apnea is one of those problems that can have unexpectedly negative effects on your mouth. Multiple studies have shown that sleep apnea often results in a drier mouth and weaker teeth. If sleep apnea is a disorder that you currently suffer from, we are fully prepared to get you the best medical and behavioral treatment for it so that you can continue to have great dental health going forward.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
If you often sleep by yourself, it can be initially quite hard to find out whether you have sleep apnea. Because the most telling symptom is loud snoring, sleep partners disrupted by the activity can be best equipped to tell you about the issue. Headaches that occur every time you awaken can be an additional, as your broken breathing pattern results in less oxygen making it to your brain. Reduced oxygen to the brain also leads to increased blood pressure and hypertension. If you are obese, the excess tissues in your throat and neck can contribute to a higher risk of sleep apnea.
What Exactly Is Sleep Apnea?
The most common form of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, a disorder that stops your breathing repeatedly as you sleep. The pause in your breathing can last up to and over ten seconds. The result of this recurring sleep interruption can be gasping, loud snoring and sleep fragmentation. Because sleep apnea may have you sleep with your mouth open at night, there are also negative effects on your dental health. Your mouth will retain less saliva than normal, which often leads directly to tooth decay and an influx of germs in your mouth.
Sleep Apnea And Tooth Grinding
According to the National Sleep Foundation, bruxism, or nocturnal teeth grinding, is a common issue that can arise from sleep apnea. Many sleep studies have been commissioned to determine solutions to this problem. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has found that a mouthguard can assist with some mild cases of sleep apnea. Mouthguards address the problem of tooth grinding and helps to keep your airways open for regular breathing.
Further Effects Of Sleep Apnea
Episodic hypoxia, which refers to low oxygen levels, has been shown to result in irreversible cellular damage to the brain. Changes in the brain have been seen in humans and laboratory animals who have suffered from sleep apnea, along with negative effects on learning and memory functions. As it comes to dental health, hypoxia alters the properties of mouth in such a way that plaque becomes an increasing problem, as it binds more easily to your cell walls. This can lead to further issues such as atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems.
Sleep apnea and other respiratory conditions can have negative effects on your oral health but, at Egger Orthodontics, our dentists are kept up to date on any issue that can affect your mouth and teeth and are fully prepared to assist you in resolving them. If you suffer from sleep apnea or need any assistance with your oral health, call us today at 425.270.1616.
All of the staff members are consistently friendly and warm! They are wonderful with children (even the little sister that wanted to closely watch)! Dr. Egger and her staff are very gentle, knowledgeable and professional and spend quality time educating patients and family. We feel like we are getting excellent care!
- Kristina M.