How Can A Dentist Help with Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

How can a dentist help with obstructive sleep apnea and teeth grinding? Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is when the tongue relaxes and slides backward during sleep, blocking or obstructing airway passages.  This results in snoring and waking up gasping for air.  It also prevents the lungs, brain, heart and other organs from receiving life sustaining oxygen.  Untreated OSA can increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, acid reflux, diabetes and has been linked to teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism.

Teeth grinding, affects millions of people and normally occurs while you sleep.  This makes it difficult to diagnose. 

Do you ever wake up with a sore jaw, headache, tender teeth or stiff neck? 

The National Sleep Foundation has found that approximately 25 percent of people with OSA also show signs of sleep Bruxism.

Similar results were found in studies using polysomnography, a type of in-depth sleep study completed in specially designed clinics. The clinics closely monitor the subjects as opposed to other studies that depend on surveys of self-noted sleep apnea or teeth grinding subjects.

So, how does your dentist fit into the picture?

Specially trained dental professionals, like Dr. Abeyta, can be a valuable asset in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.  Once diagnosed, a dentist can help you understand the disorder and treatment options.

A dentist can check the patient’s mouth, teeth, and jaw to determine whether they are a good fit for a mandibular advancement device.

A comprehensive dentist can recommend life changes such as diet and exercise to help improve the quality of sleep and the patience overall health. 

A dentist can work closely with their patients to make sure their oral appliance is working and improving their condition.  Patients who are regularly monitored have proven to get the best results.

If you are experiencing bruxism symptoms or are struggling to sleep soundly at night, don’t wait to schedule an appointment for yourself or a family member.  The team at Dr. Abeyta’s office will sit down with you and discuss the best plan to get you on the right track to a healthy mouth and body. Call today to make your appointment 505-293-7611.