Can My Dentist Tell if I Have Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a type of sleeping disorder that’s related to your oral anatomy. It’s caused by soft tissues in the back of your mouth (like your soft palate, tongue, and tonsils) collapsing against one another and sealing off your airway. Having a large neck circumference is a common symptom.
But there are other warning signs of sleep apnea that can be picked up by none other than your dentist! At Studfield Dental Group, some of the things we’ll look for during your dental exam include symptoms of sleep disordered breathing. Here are just a few:
Worn Teeth and Broken Dental Work — One of the most common oral signs of sleep apnea is worn, broken teeth. The flattened and damaged surfaces are caused by the jaws clenching together when the airway is blocked off. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, the clenching is how your body responds to a lack of air.
Prominent Jaw Muscles or TMJ Issues — Along the lines of teeth wear, another common symptom we’ll see is TMJ disorder or jaw pain, along with prominent muscles in those areas. These symptoms are due to the extensive strain and clenching that you do while your body is deprived of oxygen overnight.
Medical Screening — As we review your health history and record your vitals, things like high blood pressure, weight gain, or depression are just a few examples of sleep apnea symptoms we check for. We’ll contrast this information with what our Wantrina South dentists observe during your exam to determine if additional care is needed.
Should You See a Dentist?
The Wantrina South dentists at Studfield Dental Group can give you honest and professional advice regarding oral signs of sleep apnea. Should you need a sleep study or further testing, we can direct you toward the next steps to take. Call us today for more information!