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Sleep Apnea in Spokane Valley, WA
You may already know that sleep apnea can cause all kinds of issues for your body, such as heart disease and stroke. Have you thought about the damage that sleep apnea can do to your teeth and gums? Sleep apnea can lead to issues with your mouth as well, such as TMJ and bruxism. If you don’t know about sleep apnea and the damage it can do to your mouth, come see us at NorthView Family Dental so we can help get you the information you need.
What Is Sleep Apnea?Sleep apnea is a condition that causes your body to stop breathing momentarily during the sleep cycle. It is a common condition for men to have, especially men in midlife or beyond. There are risk factors for sleep apnea, including obesity. People with sleep apnea find it extremely difficult to sleep deeply and fully because their body goes through constant cycles of awakening and sleeping, even if they don’t realize it. If you leave sleep apnea untreated, you run the risk of increased blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, stroke, and heart attacks - all of which can be fatal.
How Is Sleep Apnea Bad for Oral Health?Sleep apnea causes many sufferers to sleep with their mouths wide open, just as people do when they are congested. Dry mouth causes problems for your oral health for several reasons. First, when your mouth is dry, your saliva dries up. One of the ways your body helps rid itself of the bacteria in your mouth is through the use of saliva. Your mouth has a constant source of saliva to wash the bacteria out of your mouth and into your digestive tract. Without saliva to help your mouth out, bacteria can quickly multiply. You run the risk of cavities and gum disease. In addition, researchers have found that dry mouth can also lead to an increase in mouth ulcers, which can become infected.
Sleep apnea can also worsen bruxism. Bruxism is a condition when you grind or clench your teeth during your sleep cycle. Bruxism can cause you to crack your teeth because of all of the clenching and grinding you do during the night. You can also crack fillings, bridges, crowns, and other dental work.
Bruxism also causes issues with your jaw joint, also called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). If your TMJ becomes inflamed, you may have difficulty opening or closing your mouth, and you can suffer from jaw pain.
TreatmentLuckily, if you have sleep apnea, there are treatments available, such as masks, that can keep you breathing all through the night. There are other surgical and non-surgical treatments available as well. You may even be able to use a night guard device that works on your sleep apnea and keeps you from grinding your teeth due to bruxism, which saves your TMJ and your dental work. If you need help managing your sleep apnea, why not contact us today? At NorthView Family Dental we can help you with your sleep issues, as well as manage your bruxism and TMJ problems. Get in touch today by calling us at NorthView Family Dental for an appointment.