What Does Dental Health Have to Do With Sleep Apnea?

When you visit the dentist, you do so primarily to have your teeth checked. That’s why you might be surprised to get questions about your sleep.

Actually, dentists are usually the first to guess that someone might be living with sleep apnea, a condition that interferes with your sleep quality. That’s because some of the symptoms of sleep apnea cause changes in your dental health. 

If we identify the signs of sleep apnea when you visit us at Livonia Family Smiles, our dentists, Shiva Hogugi, DDS, Ramin Rajaee, DDS, and Aziza Askari, DMD, offer sleep apnea treatment.

How does sleep apnea impact your oral health — and vice versa? And how do you get a good night’s rest if you do have sleep apnea? Find out here. 

Understanding sleep apnea and its dental effects

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when something gets in the way of your breathing while you sleep. That something is the muscles in your throat, which impede your breathing when they relax too much. 

You could also have central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn’t send the right signals to maintain your breathing while you sleep. Or you could have a combination of the two types. 

Sleep apnea comes with a bunch of symptoms, from fatigue and headaches during the day to dental health ramifications. Because of the labored breathing that occurs when you have sleep apnea, you might have dry mouth throughout the night or grind your teeth, for example. 

That’s why dentists are often the first ones to spot the signs of sleep apnea. Whenever you visit our office, Dr. Rajaee, Dr. Askari, or Dr. Hogugi looks for the signs of sleep apnea as part of your exam. If we notice them, we’ll discuss your sleep with you.

Many people don’t realize they have sleep apnea until a health practitioner brings it up. To help you evaluate the likelihood that you’re living with this sleep condition, here are some of the most common symptoms:

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, don’t hesitate to talk to our team.

Treating sleep apnea for a good night’s rest

Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common than central sleep apnea. And that’s good news, because our team can treat obstructive sleep apnea right here at our office. 

We do so by fitting you with a customized oral insert called a nightguard to wear while you sleep. This comfortable device keeps your airways open so you can breathe easily all night long and wake up refreshed. 

If you think you might be living with sleep apnea, make an appointment with us. Call our office in Livonia, Michigan, or email us at pm@livoniafamilysmiles.com today. 

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