What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), is a more common chronic disease than you think. It is a particular syndrome that causes repeated interruptions of respiratory activity during sleep. This pathology causes various problems, both at the moment, such as poor rest, and on the long term. Even little known problems, such as those to the teeth. In case you suffer from this problem, do not hesitate to come to us at Singing River Dentistry and understand how to avoid the dental problems due to this pathology.
Sleep Apnea Problems
The most common problem due to sleep apnea is that related to sleep deprivation. A mild sleep deprivation, of which one does not realize, but problematic. Sleep apneas cause sleep interruptions and frequent awakenings for those who suffer from them. These awakenings last very little, only 2 or 3 seconds, and are not even remembered the following morning, but they affect the effectiveness of sleep. People who suffer from sleep apnea often wake up during the night and wake up tired as a continuous and effective rest is prevented.
These awakenings and sleep deprivation lead to a large number of problems. First among which, given the lack of rest, daytime sleepiness, but also an increased risk of hypertension, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, liver problems and numerous other health problems. Of all these problems, the most underrated ones are those that sleep apnea causes to the teeth.
Sleep Apnea and Teeth Problems
It has long been shown that sleep apnea can also cause serious problems with the teeth. There are three main problems that can be caused to the teeth: worn teeth, jaw pain or cavity problems.
Sleep apnea is often associated with another pathology called bruxism. It is a very common condition in all those who suffer from sleep apnea, at least one in four people, and that leads to grinding their teeth. Over time, grinding or gritting the teeth more than necessary can lead not only to greater sensitivity in the dentition, but also to wear or damage to the teeth. Grinding or clenching teeth is a direct cause of jaw pain. Sometimes sleep apnea can also cause chronic pain.
Lastly, a serious problem is that of mouth health. Those who suffer from sleep apneas tend to breathe more through the mouth, behavior that causes dry mouth and, therefore, a greater propensity to caries.
How to Know if You Have Sleep Apnea
The most common element to understand if you suffer from sleep apnea is perennial daytime fatigue. If you sleep at least 8 hours a night and are always tired, one of the answers to this problem may be night apneas. However, given that very often there are also problems with the teeth, it is easy to understand if you suffer from sleep apnea also from pain in the teeth or if you experience pain in moving or opening the mouth. A dentist may also notice increased erosion of tooth enamel, caused by dry mouth.
In any case, it is a pathology that can be easily controlled. Call Singing River Dentistry at 256-712-3549, and we could help you treat dental problems related to sleep apnea.