Can Dental Problems Cause Sleep Apnea?

family dentist bethesda MDDo you snore at night, wake up feeling tired, or have difficulty with memory and concentration during the day? If so, you may be dealing with obstructive sleep apnea. The complex structures in the mouth, jaw, and neck often play a role in snoring, and a dentist can use their expertise to help address problems in this area to help you achieve a better night’s sleep. Learn more about how your oral health might impact your sleep with Bethesda Family Smiles.

Oral Health Problems Can Cause Snoring

Wisdom teeth are a common oral health concern among young adults. When the wisdom teeth are trying to erupt in the back of the mouth, they commonly become impacted, or infected, causing swelling and discomfort. This additional swelling in an already small area like the back of the mouth can cause snoring and make it difficult to get good quality sleep.

Another oral health problem that affects snoring is an overbite, which occurs when the lower jaw is situated too far back, causing an uneven bite. As a person with an overbite is sleeping, their jaw settles even further backward, often contributing to the soft tissues collapsing over the airway.

Yet another dental explanation for snoring is TMJ, or a temporomandibular joint disorder. This complex and delicate system of muscles, ligaments, and bone may become misaligned, causing pain, clicking or popping in the jaw, teeth grinding, and many more problems. The misalignment of the jaw as a result of TMJ could result in snoring, and you may also find that you grind your teeth at night.

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Me?

Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is obstructed during sleep, making it difficult or impossible to breathe. The reduced oxygen supply to the brain during sleep makes it more difficult to function during the day, as your body is unable to get the restorative benefits from a good night’s sleep. Patients with untreated sleep apnea are at a higher risk of traffic accidents, memory and concentration deficits, and heart disease.

Early and effective treatment can restore health, improve quality of life and significantly reduce your risk for greater health concerns including heart attack and stroke.

Improve Sleep By Improving Your Oral Health in Bethesda, MD

Bethesda Family Smiles is dedicated to helping you achieve a beautiful, functional smile and can identify the underlying problem to recommend the best treatment. Contact us online today or call our Bethesda, MD dentist office at 301.500.2205.