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How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Your Oral Health?

Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is a condition in which excess tissue in the back of your throat blocks your airway during sleep, causing you to stop breathing. This condition has many side-effects which include waking up with a headache, excessive daytime sleepiness, trouble focusing, and irritability. According to our Encino, California dentist, having OSA can also negatively affect your oral health in the following ways:

Cracked or worn teeth—According to the Sleep Foundation, one in every four people who has sleep apnea grinds their teeth. This is a condition known as bruxism or TMJ. Some of the long-term effects of grinding your teeth include worn and/or jagged teeth, gum recession, cracked teeth, tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, and tight jaw muscles that restrict your mouth’s opening capabilities.

Dry mouth—People with sleep apnea also tend to sleep with their mouth open, which causes their mouth, tongue, and tum tissues to dry out. When your mouth is dry, there’s no saliva flushing away harmful germs. As a result, you’re more likely to develop tooth decay. Having a dry mouth is also a very uncomfortable condition that can cause mouth sores and ulcers.

Getting Your Sleep Apnea Under Control

The good news is that getting your sleep apnea under control is easy. Our Encino, California dentist can make you a custom oral appliance that works by pulling your lower jaw forward, causing your airway to open and allowing you to breathe more consistently.

If you have severe sleep apnea, we can work with your sleep specialists to get you a CPAP machine which attaches to a mask that you wear over your face. The machine pushes air through your airway, allowing you to breathe comfortably. But thankfully, oral sleep appliances often eliminate the need for a CPAP altogether.

If you think you might be having issues with sleep apnea, then call Encino Dental Studio for a consultation. We’ll get you on the right path to a better night’s sleep.

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