You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.
Snoring can be a troubling problem for both the snorer and their partner. But did you know that snoring can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition? Luckily, your dentist can help. Explore how dentistry can play a role in treating both snoring and sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is when someone stops breathing for brief periods during sleep. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including obesity, alcohol use, and genetics. Sleep apnea symptoms include snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, morning headaches, and excessive daytime drowsiness. The most common treatment method is a CPAP machine, which delivers a continuous supply of air while the user sleeps.
Many patients find CPAP devices uncomfortable and difficult to use. An alternative option is an oral appliance, which is custom-fit by your dentist and worn like a retainer while you sleep. Oral appliances work by repositioning the jaw or tongue to keep your airway open and reduce snoring and apnea episodes. They’re also much more comfortable than a CPAP machine and often easier to travel with.
Other Contributing Factors
Aside from oral appliances, dentists can also work with patients to identify any dental factors contributing to their snoring and sleep apnea. For example, if you have missing teeth or a misaligned bite, this can lead to airway blockages while you sleep. Your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment or other dental procedures to address these issues and improve your breathing.
Sleep Apnea Indicators
Lastly, it’s worth noting that your dentist may be able to identify potential signs of sleep apnea before you even notice any symptoms. During your routine dental check-ups, your dentist will examine your mouth and throat for any signs of airway blockages or other issues that could contribute to sleep apnea. If they suspect you have sleep apnea, they can refer you to a sleep specialist for further evaluation.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can significantly impact your overall health and well-being. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to talk to your dentist and primary care doctor. Together, they can help you find the right treatment plan for your needs. By working with a dentist, you might be able to improve your sleep and reduce your risk of long-term health problems. So don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help.
For more information, contact a dentist near you.