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The Impact Of Sleep Apnea On Oral Health

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If you have sleep apnea, it can contribute to making you feel miserable.  While it may be causing you to be tired all day long, it can be causing more problems that you are not even aware of.  Sleep apnea actually has an impact on the health of your mouth over time.  Knowing how sleep apnea impacts your oral health will help you be proactive about the potential problems that can occur.

Grinding Teeth

Having sleep apnea will cause difficulty breathing while sleeping due to an obstruction.  Your brain will cause you to unintentionally clench and grind your teeth as a way to open the airways, which can be bad for the health of your teeth.

Over time, this can make your teeth look bad, as it will cause damage and cracks to the surface of your teeth.  It also increases your risks of getting tooth decay, and having a tooth break unexpectedly.  Thankfully, your dentist can consult you on ways to stop teeth grinding, or limit the damage it is causing.

Dry Mouth

A common side effect of having sleep apnea is frequently having dry mouth.  A dry mouth can be more than a simple annoyance, as it is problematic for your teeth and gums as well.  Dry mouth causes an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and can make you more susceptible to getting thrush and oral infections.  It will also make wearing dentures more difficult to wear for those that have dry mouth.

Dental Appliance Problems

A doctor may give you an anti snoring device that is supposed to open the airways and make it easier to sleep at night. Unfortunately, these devices can cause oral health problems.  Anti snoring devices can cause your teeth to move, create tooth pains, and change the saliva in your mouth.  If you are using an anti snoring device, let your dentist know so that they can check for potential problems. Be sure to visit your dentist if you have any oral discomfort due to the device. 

It's hard enough to deal with having sleep apnea as it is, and nobody wants to deal with dental problems on top of it.  Your dentist can help you get through it though.  By making regular appointment and discussing the issue, you can ensure your mouth is getting the proper care it needs as you deal with your troubles with sleep apnea. (For more information, contact Forest Lawn Family Dental Centre)


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