Several conditions listed next to squares with sleep apnea marked with a red X

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

July 15, 2023 8:45 am

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by frequent pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last for a few seconds to minutes and can occur multiple times throughout the night. There are several types of sleep apnea but obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. It is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that doesn’t just lead to poor sleep quality; it can also contribute to potential oral and overall health complications.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

You may have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea if you feel tired during the day despite the amount of sleep you get; your partner complains that you snore loudly as you sleep; and you experience morning headaches, mental fog, irritability, and mood swings. Teeth grinding and dry mouth can also be associated with sleep apnea.

Teeth Grinding

Some individuals may try to counteract the relaxation of the soft tissue at the back of their throat by unconsciously grinding the teeth or clenching their jaw. Over time, this can increase your risk of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, tooth sensitivity, and cavities.

Dry Mouth

Sleep apnea can influence individuals to sleep with their mouths open. An open mouth can lead to a dry mouth, which increases the chance of tooth decay, gum disease, and more.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it is important to seek professional help. You’ll need a diagnosis and appropriate treatment to take control of your sleep quality. While some patients only need to try a different pillow or change their sleeping position, many patients require more in-depth treatment, such as an oral appliance or a CPAP machine.

At Alma Dental Care, Dr. Serrano can examine the health of your teeth and gums to determine if you may have untreated sleep apnea. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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