Why does your dentist care if you snore? Discover the best sleep apnea treatment in Saskatoon
In 2016 and 2017, 6.4% of Canadians reported they had been diagnosed by a healthcare professional with sleep apnea. That number has increased since, and dentists are concerned about the impact on oral health. Because the throat and oral cavity are connected, dentists have the knowledge and training to diagnose sleep apnea so they can help you protect your teeth from oral health problems that commonly accompany sleeping conditions such as snoring, bruxism and sleep apnea.
Why does your dentist care if you snore?
If you’re snoring at night, it could be an indicator that your airway is obstructed, which is the first sign of potential sleep apnea diagnosis. It may also indicate clenching or night grinding that damages the teeth. The oral cavity and the throat are directly connected, so any problems or obstructions in the airway will influence changes in the mouth. That’s why your night breathing is your dentist’s business!
What oral health issues are associated with snoring and sleep apnea?
When you have a problem with your airway, it’s important to take note of the health of your teeth for any signs of the following potential oral health problems associated with sleep apnea:
- plaque buildup
- mouth sores
- halitosis (bad breath)
- tooth decay
- bruxism (grinding)
- TMJ problems
DID YOU KNOW?
Your airway can affect your oral health and overall health MORE than sweets, acidity, and poor oral hygiene. We are learning more about this every year, with the help of digital diagnostics and modern dentistry.
Sleep apnea screening at your regular dental exam and cleaning appointment.
At your next dental exam when we ask you if you experience irregular breathing or snoring at night, you’ll know that we are screening for early signs of potential airway obstruction. Of course, many people who snore or have mild sleep apnea won’t even know it’s happening, which is why it’s so important to see your dentist regularly! Even if you can’t report any occurrence of your own grinding, snoring or irregular night breathing, your dentist will screen for visual signs of damage inside your mouth. As with any oral health issue, catching sleep apnea early can help us prevent serious oral health issues that require major restorations, dental surgery or emergency dental services.
Learn more about how we diagnose and treat sleep apnea here: Sleep Apnea & Oral Health: How Your Dentist Can Help
Sleep apnea machines may increase risks to oral health.
A common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, which resolves airway obstruction using a continuous stream of air, called positive airway pressure therapy. However, using these machines can increase a patient’s risk of problems caused by dry mouth, which need to be closely monitored by a dentist. If you have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine, it’s important to see your dentist frequently.
Mouthpieces and other oral appliances from your dental clinic.
Many cases of obstructive sleep apnea can be resolved with oral appliances custom designed and fitted to each unique patient. Depending on the anatomy of the patient’s mouth, nose and throat, a custom-fitted mouthguard may be able to help keep the airway open during sleep to effectively treat sleep apnea.
Saskatoon dentist specializing in sleep apnea.
We are lucky to have the experience of Dr. Hooshangui at NEESH Dental, one of only two certified sleep apnea specialists in Saskatchewan. Using the latest digital diagnostics and treatments, he can help you get to the bottom of your sleep apnea, get better sleep, and protect your oral health at the same time. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Hooshangui today! Learn more about bruxism and Vivera appliances at NEESH Dental in downtown Saskatoon here: The Best Protection Against Bruxism.