As the name suggests, sleep apnea is a problem that affects your sleep. However, this particular sleep issue is one that your dentist can help you address. A person with sleep apnea will have their rest disrupted frequently throughout the night – their airways become blocked, and the body must “wake” to clear the disruption. If you have sleep apnea, you might not realize you are waking up, but the effect on your sleep cycle is real, and harmful. It can be harder for your body to reap the benefits of a night’s rest, which can have real consequences. Talking to your dentist about sleep apnea can lead to treatment with a special mouth guard that stops airways blockages, meaning you can enjoy relief without a CPAP machine.
Sleep apnea deprives you of restful sleep, and that deprivation can be harmful to your general well-being. You may feel groggy throughout your day, and have trouble with your short-term memory. This lack of rest can also lead to issues with hypertension, and raise your stroke or heart disease risk.
Treating sleep apnea is not the only general dental practice that deals with your sleep. People who suffer from bruxism can also be fitted with a special mouth guard for when they sleep. The appliance will stop them from grinding their upper and lower teeth against each other through the night. Without help, you can frequently wake up with pain in your teeth, or your jaw. Over time, that grinding can create excessive wear and tear, and the stress can lead to TMJ problems.