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Can sleep apnea affect my teeth?

When we think of the effects of sleep apnea we typically think about the obvious effects such as those caused by restlessness and lack of good sleep, but what about how sleep apnea affects our teeth? Our Burnaby dentist shares some information about how sleep apnea can affect your teeth and how your dentist can help address these concerns.

Will sleep apnea affect your overall oral health?

Your oral health can be affected by sleep apnea, along with your overall health. Dental disorders can contribute to oral health difficulties and also trigger this prevalent sleep condition.

Quality sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining our dental health. It helps prevent the development and advancement of periodontal disease, as well as the occurrence of bad breath and mouth ulcers. Additionally, it contributes to our overall well-being. Consequences that could arise are:

Breathing Through Your Mouth

Mouth breathing, a primary sign of sleep apnea, can cause dry mouth and tooth damage.

Saliva plays an important part in our mouth, so a shortage of it can cause mouth sores, plaque and gum inflammation. Tooth decay and periodontitis (gum disease) are also possibilities.

Tooth Decay

As mentioned earlier, sleeping with your mouth open can lead to dry mouth and tooth decay for individuals with sleep apnea. Teeth grinding can increase the risk of tooth decay. Additionally, maintaining good oral hygiene is important.

Other problems often affect sleep apnea patients, including depression, worry, and tiredness. Not prioritizing your oral health can have negative consequences, such as inadequate oral hygiene and excessive plaque buildup, which can ultimately lead to tooth decay.

Teeth Grinding 

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, involves the grinding or clenching of the teeth. This can occur unexpectedly, but it typically occurs during the patient's sleep. Grinding teeth can disturb your sleep. It's possible that you wake up feeling tired. Headaches and neck and jaw pain may also be experienced.

Bruxism can go unnoticed, but your dentist might detect symptoms during a dental exam. You may notice signs such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, as well as teeth with degraded surfaces or loose teeth. If you experience muscle pain in your jaw, neck, head, or face, as well as dryness in your throat, lips, and mouth, your dentist might inquire about these symptoms.

How can my dentist help?

Patients with a variety of needs can find oral health solutions at our dentist in Burnaby. Regular dental exams and cleanings can help prevent tooth decay. Detecting oral health issues and problems is a top priority for us. In addition, we offer a variety of services that improve the look and function of your smile.

Would you like to learn more about caring for your oral health while managing sleep apnea? Talk to your Burnaby dentist today!

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