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The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Oral Health

Snoring and insomnia are indicators that point to a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can harm your oral health as well as to lead to dental problems.

About Sleep Apnea

It is defined as a sleep disorder that has an estimated 25 million Americans. The manifestation of sleep apnea is reflected in frequent intermittent breathing during sleep. During sleep, the tension of the entire body musculature is reduced, and the muscles around the airway, which have the function of supporting the fringe, tongue, palate, and tonsils, are relaxed. Oxygen flow decreases, and breathing may be interrupted. A person suffering from sleep apnea has interrupted breathing in their sleep, often waking up at night battling for breath without even being aware of the problem. And if it happens dozens of times during the night, it causes constant fatigue throughout the day.

Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea:

I feel sleepy or tired even after a long sleep
I’m sleepy while driving
I often have headaches
I often wake up with a sore throat
I was told I snore loudly
I was told that my breathing was periodically dormant during sleep
It happens that I wake up during the night with suffocation or shortness breath
I have frequent nightmares
I have problems with urination control
I have inexplicably high blood pressure

Sleeping With Your Mouth Open

Sleep apnea is often accompanied by sleeping with the mouth open or mouth breathing. Those who sleep with an open mouth have a dry mouth, with a sore throat and sometimes a headache. Breathing on the mouth instead of through the nose dries the teeth and gums. The problem is even bigger if it occurs during sleep because then our body naturally reduces the production of saliva. Saliva is important for chewing and digesting food, neutralizing acids, and making our mouths moist and healthy. The fewer saliva means drier mouth, which leads to the bacteria in the mouth and the acid they generate, which has a bad effect on the teeth. Bad breath occurs, an infection can occur, and eventually periodontal disease. Toothbrushing is a must, but some of the toothpaste also dries the mouth. Therefore it is recommended to brush your teeth an hour or two before going to sleep.

Bruxism

Gnashing of teeth and clenching of the jaw during nighttime sleep is called bruxism, and it is a sleep disorder. Bruxism is a very common problem – it is estimated to occur in as many as 25-50% of the population! Many are not even aware of this problem since it occurs in a dream. If it occurs frequently, it can lead to excessive wear of the dental tissue, damage to the tooth enamel, or cracking of the fillings. When the jaw clench is also expressed, the person will feel pain due to muscle spasm and stiffness of the lower jaw.

Good sleep has an invigorating effect on the body. During sleep, we recover and renew our energy for a new day. Dream improves our immunity and contributes to the good health of the whole organism. If you notice any of these problems, consult your dentist to prevent the harmful effects of sleep disorders and preserve the health of your teeth. Call us today!