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Can sleep apnea affect my teeth?

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When we think of the effects of sleep apnea we typically think about the obvious effects such as those caused by restlessness and lack of good sleep, but what about how sleep apnea affects our teeth? Our Langley dentist shares some information about how sleep apnea can affect your teeth and how your dentist can help address these concerns.

Will sleep apnea affect your overall oral health?

Sleep apnea can have an impact on your oral health in addition to your general health. While it can contribute to oral health difficulties, dental disorders can also trigger this prevalent sleep condition.

A lack of quality sleep can have a big impact on our dental health by reducing the formation and progression of periodontal disease, poor breath and mouth ulcers (not to mention keeping you healthy in general). Possible consequences include:

Breathing Through Your Mouth

Mouth breathing, a primary sign of sleep apnea, can cause dry mouth and tooth damage.

Saliva plays an important part in our mouth, so a shortage of it can cause mouth sores, plaque and gum inflammation. Tooth decay and periodontitis (gum disease) are also possibilities.

Tooth Decay

As previously stated, mouth breathing can cause dry mouth and tooth decay as a sleep apnea sufferer sleeps. Teeth grinding might also make your teeth more susceptible to decay. Poor oral hygiene can also play a role.

Other problems that sleep apnea patients frequently encounter include depression, worry and tiredness. These can lead to a lack of interest in your oral health, resulting in poor oral hygiene and severe plaque buildup, which leads to tooth decay.

Teeth Grinding 

Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is the grinding or clenching of the teeth. While this can happen at any moment, it usually happens when the patient is sleeping. Grinding your teeth might disrupt your sleep. You may notice that you wake up feeling tired. You may also get headaches and neck and jaw pain.

You may not even be aware that you have bruxism, but your dentist may identify symptoms during a dental exam. Signs may include chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, as well as teeth with degraded surfaces or loose teeth. If your dentist notices signs, he or she may ask you if you wake up with muscle pain in your jaw, neck, head, or face, as well as dryness in your throat, lips, and mouth.

How can my dentist help?

Your dentist in Langley offers oral health solutions to patients with a variety of needs. With regular dental exams and cleanings, we can help prevent tooth decay. Detecting oral health issues and problems is also a high priority. In addition, we offer a selection of restorative and cosmetic services to help your smile look and function better. 

Would you like to learn more about caring for your oral health while managing sleep apnea? Talk to your Langley dentist today!

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