Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
You might want to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Taher Dhoon, your local Greeley dentist, about your sleepless nights and excessive snoring. Problems sleeping can be connected to your dental health. While your dentist may not be the first professional, you think about if you have sleep problems, the following discussion shares why sleep apnea treatment in Greeley, CO may start with a visit to the dentist.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea refers to a condition in which an individual momentarily stops breathing while they sleep. These pauses vary in duration, but they typically last from a few seconds to half a minute. This disruption of breathing causes the sufferer to be deficient in oxygen, and this makes the brain to jar you awake. Disruptions in your breathing can be as many as 30 in each hour while you sleep!
What Makes Your Dentist Suspect Sleep Apnea
Teeth grinding. Many patients who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. When your local dentist in Greeley, CO examines you and finds that you have abnormal tooth wear, he or she may suspect that you suffer from bruxism and sleep apnea.
Unexplained spikes in cavities. Another common sign that can suggest to Dr. Taher Dhoon that you suffer from this particular sleeping disorder are heightened rates of developing cavities. This sign is closely related to teeth grinding because bruxism damages the teeth and makes them more susceptible to the microbes which cause cavities.
Receding or inflamed gums. We asked our friend, Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown, KY, about this sleep disorder. Dr. Neda says, “People who suffer from sleep apnea may also have receding or inflamed gums. This is particularly the case if the person grinds their teeth. The stress on the dental structures resulting from bruxism affects the gums and makes them inflamed. Eventually, they will start receding.” Dental care professionals at Greeley Dental Care may have a strong suspicion of this sleeping disorder if a patient presents with this sign.
A small jaw. There’s an approximate size of jaws that people of different ages and sizes normally have. However, some individuals have smaller jaws than their size requires, and this creates problems like crowded and misaligned teeth, as well as sleep apnea since the smaller jaw results in a constricted airway while you sleep. For this reason, Dr. Taher Dhoon has observed a strong correlation between small jaws and sleep apnea.
A large tongue. As is the case with a small jaw, a large tongue can also cause the airway to constrict while you sleep and the neck muscles relax. Dentists are often the first to notice that your tongue is large during your routine dental checkups.
Broken teeth. Some people visit Greeley Dental Care about broken teeth, but sometimes they cannot recall how it happened. As your local Greeley dentist examines your medical history and finds no traumatic event which could have resulted in the broken tooth, they may suspect that the patient suffers from bruxism and sleep apnea since the tooth could have broken while they ground their teeth as they slept.
It should be remembered that dentists will not make a definitive diagnosis of obstructive sleeping disorders. When you draw the attention of Dr. Taher Dhoon to symptoms like daytime drowsiness, teeth grinding and the other signs discussed above, he will refer you to sleep specialists so that you can undergo a sleep study.
The findings of the sleep study will be used with the other indicators looked for by your doctor or sleep specialist to diagnose sleep apnea and recommend the best methods of dealing with the problem. If left untreated, sleep apnea can predispose you to more serious problems, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. It is, therefore, advisable for you to start your sleep apnea treatment in Greeley CO by talking to the experts at Greeley Dental Care. Make that call today!