Home Health Sleep Apnea and Your Smile – The Surprising Link 

Sleep Apnea and Your Smile – The Surprising Link 

by Donny Stock

Sleep apnea is a major sleep problem affecting millions of individuals globally. Sleep apnea is especially widespread in Texas, where allergies and sinus problems are prominent. It is distinguished by disruptions in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep, which can develop into a variety of health problems if left untreated. A dentist in Wichita Falls, TX, can help detect and treat sleep apnea, which may have an impact on both oral health and general well-being. 

Understanding sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing continuously stops and restarts while you sleep. Of course, sleep apnea and snoring are more than just a nuisance that interferes with sleep. The problem impairs your capacity to breathe comfortably and freely when sleeping, resulting in common side symptoms such as loud snoring, excessive daytime drowsiness, dry mouth, morning headaches, and obesity.

Sleep apnea is a significant medical problem that can impair your general health. Sleep apnea has been related to an increased risk of developing health problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is among the most frequent kinds of sleep apnea. It happens when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open while asleep. This can cause loud snoring, gasping, or choking, as well as excessive daytime drowsiness, lethargy, and other health issues.

Many people may be unaware that sleep apnea can have a substantial influence on dental health. Breathing disruptions during sleep might result in lower oxygen levels, causing a dry mouth. Dry mouth heightens the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Furthermore, frequent sleep interruptions can induce teeth grinding or clenching, resulting in tooth damage and jaw pain. 

The connection between teeth grinding and sleep apnea. 

OSA is expected to affect 15-30% of males and 10-30% of females. Restricting the definition will affect 2-9% of adults and up to 5% of children of all ages. However, it is commonly thought to be underdiagnosed. 

In addition to examining their prevalence separately, research has discovered that a surprising percentage of persons have both OSA and sleep-related bruxism. In fact, OSA is one of the leading causes of sleep-related bruxism. However, it remains uncertain if there is causality or just association.

Epidemiological studies that examined patient records and datasets discovered that many persons with OSA also tended to grind their teeth. Though not all of these investigations discovered the same rates of co-occurrence, a broad pattern developed, indicating a link between teeth grinding and sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea is a major sleep problem that affects both oral and general health. If you believe you or a loved one has sleep apnea, call a dentist to schedule a consultation. 

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