Sleep Patterns Noticed by Your Dentist

When you head to your general dentistry in Mentor OH, the last thing you expect is for them to understand your sleep patterns based on your teeth, but we can. Here’s what we're able to tell just by examining your mouth.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Most people don’t even realize that they grind their teeth. When the dentist examines their mouth, they see signs such as broken teeth or worn-out surfaces. We also look for symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Many people who grind their teeth find that OSA is actually their issue.

There are more than 70 varieties of sleep disorders. OSA is one that falls into the category of Sleep Disordered Breathing. This means you aren’t allowed to cycle through the sleep stages naturally.

OSA acts like a bunch of obstacles blocking your sleep patterns. Your airway becomes obstructed and you cease breathing. This happens when the tongue, mouth or throat relax and block the airway.  When you start to relax, your throat doesn’t have the tension it needs to keep your airway open. To counteract this, the brain tells your mouth to gnash your jaws together. This process occurs several times throughout your night, leaving you tired and your teeth worn-out.

What are the Risk Factors?

You have more of a chance of suffering from OSA if you are:

· Overweight
· A snorer
· A back-sleeper
· Have an unusual anatomy of your throat and neck

Symptoms of OSA

Here are some of the most common symptoms:

· Daytime sleepiness
· Fatigue
· Grinding your teeth
· Irritability
· Weight gain
· Headaches in the morning
  Sore throats
· Snoring

Treating OSA

Your level of OSA might be mild, moderate or severe. Numerous treatments handle all these levels. Some of them are:

· Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine
· Oral Appliances
· Surgery

Your dentist wants you to be healthy which is why they keep an eye on your dental care and sleep patterns. Here at Erieview Dental, your general dentistry in Mentor OH has occlusal night guards, which can help you keep from grinding your teeth when you sleep and give you the proper open airways so you can avoid another restless night.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, simply give us a call at (440) 357-1222 and we'll be happy to help.