Do you go to bed and sleep all night but still wake up tired and irritable? You may actually be experiencing a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Our Surrey dentists talk about how sleep apnea can affect your teeth as well as your overall health and what can be done to manage it.
Sleep Disorders: How does sleep apnea affect your teeth?
Did you know that sleep disorders such as sleep apnea do more than just cause you to feel tired during the day? These sleep disorders can also cause a number of health and dental concerns, some of which can be serious.
When you sleep well it can help to prevent dental conditions from occurring and progressing as well as providing your body with the sleep it needs to stay healthy. If you have sleep apnea, the Implications might include:
You are likely breathing with your mouth wide open.
People with sleep apnea are more likely to sleep with an open mouth which can cause dry mouth leading to an increased risk of dental decay.
Saliva plays an integral role in our mouth, which means a lack of it can be an issue as mouth sores and plaque develop and the gums become inflamed. Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontitis may also become more likely if you breathe with your mouth open while sleeping.
Tooth decay and dental conditions may develop quickly.
As mentioned above, dry mouth can cause dental decay but there are other potential dental concerns as well. Some people who experience sleep disorders such as sleep apnea may also grind their teeth. This can cause serious tooth damage and decay. As with most dental issues, oral hygiene can also indirectly contribute to this symptom.
Depression, anxiety and exhaustion are other conditions that sleep apnea sufferers often experience. When you are physically and mentally drained, you may also put less effort into caring for your body which can increase your risk of developing these concerns.
As you sleep you may grind your teeth causing damage.
The teeth grinding that we mentioned is also referred to as bruxism. Bruxism can include the grinding of your teeth along with jaw clenching. While some people do this when they are sleeping it is quite common in those suffering from sleep apnea. Grinding can have a negative impact on your sleep. You may notice you wake feeling unrefreshed. When you are grinding your teeth it can also lead to pain in your jaw, neck and shoulders.
If you experience bruxism while you are sleeping then you typically don't even know that it is happening. You may hear about it for the first time when your dentist sees the signs during your routine oral exam. Signs can vary from chipped, cracked or fractured teeth to teeth with eroded surfaces or loose teeth. If your dentist sees symptoms, you may be asked if you experience muscle pain in your jaw, neck, head or face and dryness in your throat, lips and mouth when you wake.
What are some of the ways that your dentist can help with sleep apnea?
Your dentists in Surrey are here to help with a number of dental-related needs. With regular dental exams and cleanings, we can help prevent tooth decay. By performing examinations and diagnostics, your dentists can help detect and manage dental concerns as they appear. In addition, we offer restorative and cosmetic services from bridges, fillings and root canals to veneers and teeth whitening to help your smile look and function better.