How Sleep Apnea Contributes to Toothaches

By Heritage Hunt Dental
October 05, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sleep apnea   Toothaches  

The dental staff at Heritage Hunt Dental provide care for dental issues associated with sleep apnea at their Gainesville, VA, office. The dentist, Dr. Chris Houser, provides quality care for those suffering from toothaches in Gainesville, VA.

What is Sleep Apnea?

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a breathing disorder that keeps you from breathing during sleep. The passageway is blocked during sleep several times throughout the night. When the passageway is blocked, the amount of air going to your lungs is limited. Now your body is deprived of Oxygen, limiting your breathing.

The air blockage is usually caused by tissue in the back of the throat collapsing. As the muscles relax during sleep, the tissue becomes relaxed and falls back. If you sleep on your back, gravity causes the tongue to fall back and cover the breathing passageway. The breathing passageway is narrowed, causing the tissue to vibrate in the back of the throat while breathing. This results in snoring, gasping for air, or silent breathing pauses. These episodes cause a person to wake up, resulting in broken sleep.

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) states a person stops breathing about 100 times per night due to sleep apnea. These episodes can last from a few seconds to one minute. These disturbances can result in waking up unrefreshed, with morning headaches, and lack of concentration throughout the day.

How Does Sleep Apnea Contribute to Toothaches?

Sleep apnea contributes to oral health issues like sleep bruxism. Sleep bruxism is the grinding of teeth or clenching of the jaw during sleep. It usually causes involuntary grinding during sleep. The Cleveland Clinic states teeth grinding causes toothaches. The repetitive motion of the grinding creates wearing of the teeth. When a person grinds their teeth in their sleep, up to 250 pounds of force is applied, resulting in toothaches and jaw pain. Stress and anxiety are other causes of bruxism. A dentist, like Dr. Chris Houser in Gainesville, VA  can do an oral examination for signs of sleep apnea and sleep bruxism.

How Can  A Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

The AADSM recommends seeing a dentist that uses Oral Appliance Therapy. The dentist creates a retainer to fit over your teeth that's worn during sleep. The device moves your jaw forward to keep the airway open and prevent teeth from grinding. The dentist creates a device personally designed for your teeth to improve your sleep and health.

If you want more information about sleep apnea in Gainesville, VA, call (703) 754-5800 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chris Houser at Heritage Hunt Dental.

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