When we think of the effects of sleep apnea we typically think about the obvious effects such as those caused by restlessness and lack of good sleep, but what about how sleep apnea affects our teeth? Our Richmond dentist shares some information about how sleep apnea can affect your teeth and how your dentist can help address these concerns.
Will sleep apnea affect your overall oral health?
Your oral health can be affected by sleep apnea, along with your overall health. Dental disorders can contribute to oral health difficulties and also trigger this prevalent sleep condition.
Quality sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining our dental health. It helps prevent the development and advancement of periodontal disease, while also preventing issues like bad breath and mouth ulcers. Additionally, getting enough sleep is important for our overall well-being. There are several potential outcomes that could arise:
Breathing Through Your Mouth
Mouth breathing, a primary sign of sleep apnea, can cause dry mouth and tooth damage.
Saliva plays an important part in our mouth, so a shortage of it can cause mouth sores, plaque and gum inflammation. Tooth decay and periodontitis (gum disease) are also possibilities.
As mentioned before, sleeping with your mouth open can lead to dry mouth and tooth decay for individuals with sleep apnea. Teeth grinding can increase the risk of tooth decay. Additionally, maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine is important.
Other problems often accompany sleep apnea patients, including depression, worry, and tiredness. Not taking care of your oral health can result in bad oral hygiene and a buildup of plaque, which can cause tooth decay.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, involves the grinding or clenching of the teeth. This can occur at any time, but it typically occurs while the patient is asleep. Grinding your teeth can disturb your sleep. It is possible that you wake up feeling tired. Headaches and neck and jaw pain may also be experienced.
Bruxism can sometimes go unnoticed, but your dentist may be able to detect symptoms during a routine dental exam. You may notice signs such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, as well as degraded surfaces or loose teeth. If you experience muscle pain in your jaw, neck, head, or face upon waking up, along with dryness in your throat, lips, and mouth, your dentist may inquire about these symptoms.
How can my dentist help?
Patients with a variety of needs can find oral health solutions from our dentist in Richmond. Regular dental exams and cleanings can help prevent tooth decay. Detecting oral health issues and problems is a top priority for us. Furthermore, we offer a variety of restorative and cosmetic services that improve both the aesthetics and functionality of your smile.