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Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Man laying awake in bed with sleep apnea

Snoring can be a sign of a more serious medical condition called Sleep Apnea. Learn more about snoring and sleep apnea.

We all know that snoring can be an annoyance. Ultimately, snoring is the sound of obstructed breathing during sleep. While snoring can be harmless, it can also be a sign of more serious medical conditions such as upper airway resistance syndrome or obstructive sleep apnea.

Apnea is characterized by stretches where one does not breathe and then gasps for air. Daytime symptoms include hypertension, early morning headaches and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Appliances may be used to ease breathing and curb apnea.

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep resulting in decreased oxygen going to the brain and the rest of the body that can have longterm effects on one’s health. It can affect anyone at any age, but there are some common risk factors.

What Are the Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea?

  •     Being overweight
  •     Male Gender
  •     Over the age of 40
  •     Having large tonsils or tongue
  •     Having a family history of sleep apnea
  •     Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Sleep Apnea?

  •     High blood pressure
  •     Stroke
  •     Heart failure or heart attack
  •     Diabetes
  •     Depression
  •     Worsening of ADHD

Treatment of Sleep Apnea

  •     Lifestyle changes
  •     Mouthpieces prescribed by your physician and constructed by your dentist
  •     Breathing devices
  •     Surgery

Dr. Gustavson offers sleep apnea oral appliances to treat patients unable to wear C-PAP units. Mandibular advancement therapy by use of positioning appliances is very effective in treating snoring and moderate sleep disorders. Most medical insurances will cover benefits upon a referral from a physician’s office.

Teeth Grinding can lead to tooth problems.

About 15 percent of people have a habit of grinding their teeth or clenching their jaws. Teeth grinding typically occurs during sleep, as such sufferers are frequently unaware of it until complications develop. Because you might be unaware of teeth grinding, it’s important to know the symptoms and signs and to seek regularly scheduled dental care.

There is no need to suffer through grinding your teeth. Our treatments and therapies help put a stop to teeth grinding and its symptoms, which can frequently hinder quality of life.

A clenched jaw can create up to 300 pounds of pressure which creates enormous stress on your teeth, your gums, your jaw and surrounding muscles. Stress is the most common culprit in teeth grinding. Stress-induced grinding can be treated with anxiety medication, yoga, biofeedback and other methods of stress reduction.

Mild instances of teeth grinding may not necessitate treatment but, in instances where grinding is prolonged, it can lead to serious jaw disorders, headaches and damage to teeth, in addition to other problems.

Our dentists can diagnose teeth grinding using a simple visual examination, searching for tell-tale signs of grinding. Once an examination is completed we’ll determine the best course of action to help you.

Some signs and symptoms of teeth grinding are:

  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Worn, fractured or chipped teeth
  • Pain in the face
  • Damage to tissue on the inside of the cheek

Several treatment options exist to alleviate the affects of grinding. The first stop is to help the patient stop grinding and clenching their teeth. This is frequently achieved by using a mouth guard.

Another step is to correct the source of the problem be it, TMJ disorder, malocclusion or environmental factors. Our dentists are ready to help stop your grinding and to treat any damage that might have occurred to your teeth.

If you believe you might be grinding your teeth, call and schedule an appointment with us today.

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