The last time you saw your New York general dentistry professional, were you asked about grinding your teeth or waking gasping for breath? Were you asked if you snore? Your dentist is asking preliminary questions to see if you have sleep apnea.
Why Would A Dentist Ask About Sleep Problems?
A patient with sleep apnea often grinds their teeth. When dentists see it upon examination, they look for receding gums, broken teeth, and cavities. When the teeth grind (called bruxism) and the jaw tenses, the mouth sends the brain a message to wake up to breathe.
Waking gasping for breath during the night fatigues people, and their sleep quality suffers. This leads to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart problems. These are what your dentist will ask about to determine if you have sleep apnea.
What Could A Dentist Do to Help?
If your New York general dentistry professional suspects you have sleep apnea, the first thing to do is recommend a sleep study. Dentists can’t order sleep studies, but your primary care physician can. They’ll work together to order your study and probably a CPAP machine for you.
This machine will blow air into your airway so the airway won’t collapse during sleep. No air passing through the airway is the cause of sleep apnea.
What About Snoring?
Snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea. Add to this dry mouth upon waking, being tired all day, and headaches. These should be brought up to your dentist, who will then recommend a sleep study.
Since the mouth and dental concerns affect the whole body, dentists have to wear many hats, including medical hats. Be sure to tell Dr. Shekib everything, and about sleep apnea and make an appointment for an exam if you suspect you may have this.
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