The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Oral Health

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Oral Health

Sep 01, 2021

Sleeping issues such as lack of sleep at night and snoring could be a result of a disorder we refer to as sleep apnea. In addition to taking a toll on your mental and general health, sleep apnea could also affect your oral health. In this blog, we discuss the connection between sleep apnea and oral health in detail to help you make an informed decision. Talk to us if you are looking for a dentist in 90505.

What is Sleep Apnea?

It is a sleeping disorder affecting over twenty-five million Americans. The condition is often characterized by problems breathing while asleep and loud snoring. While the condition is not life-threatening, it could affect how you carry out your daily activities, increase your stress levels, and disturb your partner’s sleep.

The condition is caused by blockage of airways. Apnea prevents the lungs from receiving enough oxygen, hence disturbing the patient’s sleeping cycles. If left untreated, it increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

It is hard to know if you have sleep apnea if you live alone since most identifying symptoms occur while you are sleeping. However, there are some symptoms that may indicate you have the disorder. Visit a dentist for a diagnosis if you experience any of them. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Unexplained mood swings
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air while sleeping
  • Memory loss
  • A dry throat
  • Feeling too tired and sleepy during the day
  • Unable to pay attention and forgetfulness
  • Irritability.
  • Sexual dysfunction and decreased libido
  • Waking up too often at night to urinate
  • Anxiety and depression

If you experience one or more of the above symptoms, it is only wise to visit a dentist near you for a diagnosis. We are here for you if you are looking for sleep apnea treatment in Torrance.

Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea

While sleep apnea affects all people, some individuals are at a higher risk than others. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Being overweight: At least 70 percent of individuals suffering from apnea are obese.
  • A family history of sleep apnea keeps a person at a higher risk of the condition.
  • Smokers are more likely to suffer from apnea than nonsmokers.
  • Untreated hypothyroidism increases the risk of apnea.
  • Male species are affected by the condition than the female species.
  • You may be at a higher risk if you are struggling with cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Oral Health

Enough and quality sleep keeps you healthy and reduces the risk of mouth ulcers, halitosis (bad breath), and progression of periodontal disease (periodontitis). Sleep apnea could increase the risk of several dental problems such as:

TMJ

There is scientific evidence that suggests that sleep apnea and TMJ disorders go hand in hand. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower and upper jaw, and everyone has two TMJ joints. TMJ disorder is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Clicking sounds on the jaw joints.
  • Finding it difficult to open and close the mouth
  • Jaw pains
  • Pain throughout your head to the shoulders
  • Problems chewing

A study by the Journal Research in 2013 showed that individuals that are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea are also more likely to suffer from TMJ disorders.

Bruxism

Also known as teeth grinding is a condition that happens mostly when a person is asleep. Bruxism affects the enamel, and it has negative effects on your sleep. You could wake up with headaches, jaw, and neck pains. Research by The Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache said that at least a quarter of the adults affected by bruxism have sleep apnea.

Mouth Breathing

Due to the blockage of airways, most people are forced to breathe through their mouths. Unfortunately, mouth breathing increases the risk of dry mouth, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Research by the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology suggests that gum disease affects at least 62.3 percent of people struggling with sleep apnea.

Bradley W. Miller, DDS, Inc.

Talk to our Torrance dentist if you have experienced any symptoms of sleep apnea, and we will help you. Our team has years of experience, and you can count on us for preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures. Book an appointment now.

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