Let’s be real. Nobody likes it when their partner or another member of their household snores. It’s loud, it’s annoying, and it can keep you up at night while the offender is happily dozing off. But in some cases, excessive snoring can be a sign of a sleep condition called sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder that typically causes:
- Excessive snoring
- Shortness of breath or even stopping breathing while sleeping
- Abruptly waking up in the middle of the night with no other explanation
- Difficulty or even an inability staying in a restful period of sleep
- Feeling tired during the day, even if you felt like you did sleep enough the night before
- Become irritable easily or having other mood swings
Sleep apnea can affect anyone – even children. And the amazing thing is, one of the first people who may be able to diagnosis this issue (besides your restless partner) is your dentist.
The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Dentistry
At times when examining patients for other conditions, our doctors notice signs that could be symptoms of sleep apnea, including:
- Worn down teeth
- Teeth that are broken or breaking
- Receding gum lines
While these signs don’t necessarily mean you have the sleep disorder, they could be a good indicator that you need to be evaluated for the condition.
Complications of Sleep Apnea
Aside from a partner who wants to shake you in the middle of the night and tell you to stop snoring, sleep apnea may lead to other complications, including:
- Daytime fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Complications with medications and/or surgery
- Liver problems
If, after visiting our practice, our doctors suspect you’re showing signs of sleep apnea, it’s important that you see your doctor for a follow-up. A sleep study may even be in order. While sleep apnea may seem like a minor inconvenience to you, it truly is important to diagnosis and treat so that you don’t develop other undesirable medical complications.
Don’t Be Embarrassed; Tell Us if You’re an Excessive Snorer
If you’ve been told you snore so much the house shakes, we want to know. We can, during your oral surgery visit to us, look for signs and symptoms that may eventually lead to a diagnosis of sleep apnea. And while this condition isn’t the primary condition that we treat in our office, our doctors care about your overall health. If by simply taking a few extra minutes to perform a special examination of your teeth and gums we can help lead you to a diagnosis that can prevent medical complications, then the time it takes is definitely worth it to us. Remember, not all snorers have sleep apnea, but if your snoring is excessive, it could be a tip that you have this sleep disorder. If you’re coming into our office for an oral surgery need and are told you snore, let us know so we can help get you on the path to overall wellness. If you have any questions, you can reach our at (817) 731-2789.