December 30, 2015

Your dentist in Surprise, AZ may play a larger role in your ability to get a good night’s sleep than you think, especially if you suffer from sleep apnea. Surprisingly, in many cases, dentists are a patient’s first line of defense against this potentially destructive condition.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the upper repertory passages close up in the middle of the night, causing the person suffering from it to struggle for air. In serious cases, the individual even stops breathing entirely several times during the night. In general, breathing starts up again on its own, but the period without oxygen can wreak havoc on the body as well as the ability to get a restful night’s sleep.

What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?

One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is very loud snoring. Most people who snore don’t have sleep apnea, but if the snoring is loud enough to wake a person sleeping in the same room and it occurs on a nightly basis, there is reason to suspect sleep apnea. The individual may also gasp for air, choke or make other sounds of distress while sleeping. Other symptoms are headaches in the morning as well as a feeling of tiredness or not being refreshed upon waking.

How Can a Dentist Help?

Sleep apnea can cause dry mouth from open-mouthed breathing during the night. It also increases an individual’s risk for grinding the teeth or chewing the inside of the mouth during sleep. If a dentist suspects sleep apnea based on these symptoms, he or she can refer the patient to a sleep specialist for a consultation.

Maintaining oral health is essential for the continuing health of your body as a whole. For a dental checkup or to discuss a specific issue with your teeth, contact Dr. Steven Chang today.



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