(319) 377-1300

Sleep Apnea & Dental Health

uptown dental sleep apnea
Posted on: June 10th, 2024 by | No Comments

Snoring. At least 25 percent of adults do it regularly, and approximately 45 percent snore occasionally. Some of those people have obstructive sleep apnea, which is like snoring to the extreme. Sleep apnea often includes loud gasps, snorts, or choking sounds that indicate disruptions to breathing. Not only does sleep apnea result in less restful sleep and possible morning headaches, but it is also associated with an increased risk for stroke, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular issues. When it comes to dental health, snoring and sleep apnea can affect your oral health, as well.


Effects of Dry Mouth from Snoring

When you snore, you often do so with your mouth open. This can lead to drooling and dry mouth. Dry mouth can have several effects, including bad breath and an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. Treating sleep apnea can not only benefit your overall health but also your oral health. For these reasons, it is worth being evaluated by your physician for sleep apnea if you snore.


Tips for Snorers and Their Partners

People who snore can do a few things on their own to reduce snoring. Avoiding alcohol is one way to reduce snoring. Drinking alcohol, especially in the evening, loosens muscles and tissue in the mouth and throat where snoring originates. In addition, losing weight often helps reduce the fat that accumulates in the upper throat cavity, which can help alleviate snoring. Sleeping on your side instead of your back can also reduce snoring so you and your partner can sleep more soundly.


Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Diagnosing sleep apnea requires a physician-directed sleep study to evaluate your sleep patterns. Depending on the severity of the sleep apnea, treatment can involve a CPAP machine, which provides pressurized air through a mask to optimize airflow and prevent obstructions from stopping your breathing. If a person is not a good candidate for this treatment or has a milder case, an oral appliance may be an option.


Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances

Oral appliances provide other options for treating mild to moderate sleep apnea. They either reposition the jaw or stabilize the tongue to create better airflow in the back of your throat. Oral appliances are custom fitted by your dentist. Uptown Dental offers these as well as nightguards to assist with grinding teeth, a.k.a. bruxism. Read more about sleep apnea oral appliances.

If you snore or have sleep apnea, let your dentist know. Uptown Dental will consult with you on sleep appliances and help you address dry mouth to enhance your oral health. Contact us today with questions!