Can Your Dentist Help You Sleep Better?
Sleep is important. If your sleep is disrupted on a persistent basis, it can not only be frustrating but also compromise your overall health. Although there are countless reasons for losing quality sleep, your dentist can help you determine the cause and remedy certain sleep problems by placing a custom appliance in your mouth.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common, yet serious, disorder in which the upper airways actually close off and interrupt your breathing while you sleep. Patients can experience several pauses in breathing throughout the night. This prevents a patient from completing adequate sleep cycles for a good night’s rest. Sleep apnea typically presents with the following symptoms:
• Routine loud snoring
• Waking gasping for air
• Excessive fatigue or falling asleep during the day
If you are in fact diagnosed with sleep apnea, your dentist can help. A custom nighttime oral appliance can be worn to place your mouth in a position that keeps your airways open. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a series of health problems and greatly impact one’s quality of life.
Another way your dentist may be able to improve your shuteye is to stop your nighttime teeth grinding habit. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can also cause poor sleep. Persistent clenching of your jaw and friction of your teeth can cause TMJ problems, morning headaches and tooth damage. Ask for a custom mouthguard to protect your smile if you suffer from the following teeth grinding symptoms:
• Pain in your teeth, mouth or jaw
• A clicking or popping sound in your jaw
• Visibly worn down teeth
• Sensitive teeth
• Frequent tension headaches
Regardless of whether or not your sleep problems can be treated at your dental office, always pursue treatment until you are achieve good quality sleep on a regular basis. Sleep is vitally important to your physical health, mental health and emotional health. If you suspect that obstructive sleep apnea or teeth grinding is causing your poor disturbances, let us know at your next visit. Dr. Gilreath is an experienced and knowledgeable dentist who understands how to treat these conditions with highest expertise.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates