Dental Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the most common types of sleeping disorders. It’s also one that our Brookhaven dentists can screen for. We work with local sleep specialists to deliver oral sleep appliances and sleep apnea treatments that treat OSA symptoms at the source: your mouth.

Could you have a sleeping disorder? We’ll look for these “red flags” during your next exam:

Teeth Grinding

Bruxism (chronic teeth clenching and grinding) is a tell-tale sign of sleep apnea. It’s triggered by oxygen deprivation to the brain.

“Flat” Teeth

Excessive wear on your tooth enamel can lead to flattened chewing surfaces. You’ll probably also notice chipped edges or large fractures here and there. Again, the flattening comes from grinding teeth while you sleep.

A Large Tongue

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by soft tissues inside of your mouth blocking off the airway at the back of your throat. Enlarged tonsils or a large tongue can increase your risk of OSA. Once you fall asleep and your tongue drifts backward, it’s possible that it can press against your soft palate and completely seal off air flow.

Broken Dental Work

Like the worn, broken teeth throughout your mouth, existing dental work may show signs of breaking apart. If fillings and crowns aren’t lasting as long as they should be, it’s a smart idea to get screened for sleep apnea or bruxing habits.

Early Screenings Could Save Your Life

Do you have high blood pressure? A large neck circumference? These are just a couple of the other warning signs of sleep apnea. Since sleeping disorders drastically raise your risk for a cardiovascular emergency and even death, you owe it to your family to speak to a healthcare provider. Ignoring it is not worth the risk.

Schedule your dental sleep apnea symptom screening today at Elegant Smiles.

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