When it comes to providing West Linn dental care, our team at Roane Family Dental wants to help our patients better understand the potential risks their oral health may face from problems other than tooth decay and gum disease. While these two oral problems are the root for many of the lasting issues that work to seriously undermine the long-term health of our teeth and gums, dental disease and decay have a variety of causes that extends beyond not just brushing and flossing enough. In fact, something as simple as snoring can often be a sign that oral health problems are on the way.
While snoring at night might seem funny – that’s is unless you’re the roommate or bed partner of a nightly snorer – the condition can actually be a sign of several more serious health issues. Here are a few ways that snoring can negatively impact your oral and overall health.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially life threatening condition that impacts the lives of 22 million Americans. Sleep apnea is condition where the soft tissue located in the back of the throat relaxes and collapses into the airway during sleep. This causes a blockage to occur that reduces the flow of oxygen that travels through the windpipe and into the lungs. The brain senses the drop in oxygen that occurs and shocks the body out of sleep so that the throat tissues tighten and airflow returns to normal levels.
Once they fall back into a deeper sleep, the throat muscles once again collapse and the whole cycle starts all over. Patients who suffer from severe sleep apnea can experience this cycle of sleep to awake anywhere from 30 to more times an hour. Since these breaks in sleep are so brief, most patients don’t even realize they have a problem.
One of the most common signs of sleep apnea is nightly snoring, combined with waking up feeling groggy, afternoon drowsiness, and an inability to concentrate. If sleep apnea isn’t treated, the condition can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
If you suffer from restless sleep, have trouble concentrating at work or school, or feel tired no matter no much sleep you received the night before, you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Talk with Dr. Roane about your concerns, as there are certain telltale signs that he can look for in order to provide a diagnosis. The sooner you receive treatment, the more quickly you can start getting the rest you deserve.
Snoring at night, whether caused by sleep apnea or a cold, requires that your mouth stay open while you sleep. An open mouth allows air to dry out the saliva that works to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Saliva acts as the body’s nature defense mechanism against plaque and the harmful substances it produces that erode away at tooth enamel. When patients suffer from dry mouth, they lose that protection, which increases their risk for dental disease and decay.
If you wake up most morning feeling parched, thirsty, or with a sore throat, there’s a good chance that dry mouth may be impacting your oral health. Talk with Dr. Roane about potential solutions for dealing with dry mouth.
The majority of patients that suffer from nightly sleep apnea also grind their teeth at night. While your teeth rank as some of the most resilient parts of the body, grinding places excessive stress and strain on enamel that increases the risk for teeth to become chipped, cracked, worn down, or broken.
Teeth grinding is also common for patients who experience a lot of stress in their lives and who consume an excessive amount of caffeine, especially right before bed. During routine exams at our West Linn dental care office, Dr. Roane should be able to spot the signs of nightly teeth grinding and provide a treatment recommendation to help protect your oral health from this harmful habit.