Sleep apnea is a relatively common but potentially serious health condition. Researchers have found that roughly 22 million Americans are stricken with this malady. That said, few people likely realize that dental issues could both exacerbate and potentially indicate existence of the problem.
Yardley Dental Arts, whom many in the Philadelphia region consider to employ some of the top dentists in Bucks County, invites our patients and loyal followers to continue reading this brief blog exploring the connection between sleep apnea and dental maladies.
Sleep Apnea Overview
This potentially life-inhibiting condition occurs when afflicted subjects experience intermittent interruptions in their breathing patterns while slumbering. Healthcare professionals differentiate the condition into three categories:
The physical manifestations are the same regardless of the specific differentiation one has and might include:
Moreover, the lack of restful sleep also often precipitates issues like fatigue, cognitive disturbances, and irritability. Additionally, in extreme cases, insomnia yields a weakened immune system, which could lead to the development of frequent infections like colds and flus.
Connection To Dental Health
Dental researchers opine that specific oral conditions can contribute to, exacerbate of indicate the presence of sleep apnea. Such issues include:
In layman’s terms, bruxism is known as teeth grinding. Researchers have found that this action often occurs during sleep and is seen in an appreciable percentage of those eventually diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Bruxism often precipitates numerous telltale signs such as damaged teeth, jaw or neck pain, and dry mouth. Oral care providers who detect teeth grinding often recommend patients seek a medical evaluation for sleep apnea.
TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint malfunction, malformation or injury and is often considered a significant underlying cause of sleep apnea. These structures connect one’s upper and lower jaw bones. If injured or improperly formed, said issue could impact throat muscles and result in nighttime breathing difficulties.
Potential Treatment Options
The top dentists in Bucks County might be able to fix bruxism by prescribing the use of mouth guards designed to hold a teeth grinder’s mouth in place during the night. TMJ might be remediated through exercise, alignment efforts and, in severe instances, surgery.
That said, the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea is typically performed by a medical doctor. Specific therapeutic protocols can vary depending upon the condition’s severity and the impact said malady is exerting over the afflicted subject’s daily activities.
Sleep apnea is a significant medical condition that might be worsened or indicated by the preceding problems. Individuals experiencing such issues are encouraged to contact our team. We take pride in being known as some of the top dentists in Bucks County and look forward to helping you. More about our practice can be found by visiting www.yardleydentalarts.com.
"My mission is to always provide extraordinary dental care in a compassionate setting. At Yardley Dental Arts, quality is key! We are NOT a high volume, high turnover office. We are patient centric office. Our practice model allows for concierge service and exclusive one on one time with the doctor and the hygienists. We pride ourselves on using premier materials, labs and the latest in dental technology including our GREEN CT 3D SCANNER, delivering high quality images at a fraction of the radiation as compared to the standard. This allows for fully customized treatment plans focusing on your specific needs and comfort level.
It’s a pleasure to serve you and your family for your comprehensive dental needs. Every one of us is passionate about what we do, and it shows! I look forward to meeting you."