According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea – a disorder in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
So what does it have to do with your dental health? Surprisingly, dentists are often the first to identify possible sleep disorders. When signs of teeth grinding are present, or the patient has a small jaw, redness in the throat, or a tongue with scalloped edges, your dentist may recommend a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is caused by a variety of factors, many of which can be treated with a CPAP machine under guidance from your physician. However, if the cause is related to the tongue or position of the jaw, we can fit you with oral appliances to help correct the problem.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea (or have a family member who snores excessively), contact your Dental Depot office and let us conduct an initial exam and help you get on the road to better sleep, improved health and greater energy.