Troubled sleeping may not seem like a relevant problem to discuss during a routine checkup, but if you struggle with snoring or sleep apnea, your dentist can help. Both snoring and sleep apnea are related to a restriction in your air passages while you sleep. People with sleep apnea lose oxygen for ten seconds or more, and lose the ability to get proper rest. Sleep apnea can be a serious threat to your health. A comprehensive dentist can go beyond inspecting the condition of your teeth, and help you treat problems like snoring and sleep apnea.
What Distinguishes Snoring From Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea often causes people to snore, but not everyone who snores necessarily has sleep apnea. Snoring is caused when soft tissue in your throat partially covers your airways, which causes you to make noise while you sleep. Sleep apnea occurs when those airways are cut off for prolonged periods. Because this lack of air causes your body to wake up in order to clear your breathing passages, your sleep cycle becomes disrupted, and your ability to rest is impeded. This lack of restful sleep can leave you unfocused or groggy during the day, and can also increase your risk for a serious health problem, like a heart attack or a stroke.
The Importance Of Seeing Your Dentist
Routine visits with your dentist give you the chance to discuss any health concerns you have, like trouble sleeping. It also gives your dentist the opportunity to review your overall oral health. A cavity that has begun to form can be spotted by your dentist, even if it has not caused symptoms. In addition to sleep apnea, your dentist can watch for symptoms of other serious conditions, like oral cancer.