Daniel came in to meet with our dentist because he thought that he was grinding his teeth at night. When Daniel woke up in the morning, he found that his jaw and back teeth felt sore. Additionally, Daniel’s wife told him that she could even hear him grinding his teeth in the night!
Our Saint Louis dentists took a look at Daniel’s smile, and gathered some more information about his dental and general health. What we found is that Daniel was in fact grinding his teeth at night, and he was also suffering from a bigger problem—obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes patients to suffer from low oxygen levels at night. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, oral tissues fall into your airway during the night, blocking healthy airflow.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment is crucial for patients of all ages. So look out for these common signs of sleep apnea:
· Loud, disruptive snoring
· Headaches upon waking
· Chronic fatigue and sleepiness
· Dental grinding (called bruxism)
· Waking throughout the night, you may even find yourself gasping for air as you wake
· Dry mouth or throat upon waking
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should reach out to your dentist so that you can get the treatment you need. Our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentist office can provide you with the treatment you need to stay well and avoid long-term complications of sleep apnea.
If left untreated, sleep apnea will intensify over time. The chronic fatigue associated with sleep apnea can lead to mood swings, depression, and attention problems. Additionally, the low oxygen levels associated with sleep apnea put strain on your cardiovascular system, which will worsen over time. Don’t wait to get the sleep apnea treatment you need—we are here to help you!