The Link Between Some Dental Problems and Sleep Apnea Unraveled

October 4, 2021
wife annoyed by her husband's loud snore before seeing a dentist in Tampa Bay

Sleep apnea is a medical condition where a person experiences difficulty breathing during sleep, leading to restlessness and fatigue. 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, as accounted by the American Sleep Apnea Association. This condition is directly linked to some dental problems; thus, it’s best to talk to your dentist in Tampa Bay if you think you have it.  

woman receiving treatment for sleep apnea after her appointment with a dentist in Tampa Bay  

What Are Some Dental Problems Related to Sleep Apnea?

Dry Mouth

A person with sleep apnea typically snores loudly and may experience moments of gasping for air in the middle of their sleep. This is mostly because of the narrowing or collapse of the airway during sleep. Because of this blockage, patients resort to mouth breathing, which can cause dry mouth.  

As we know, dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and other dental illnesses. Saliva is a valuable component in the mouth as it contains enzymes that attack harmful bacteria. 

Tooth Decay

Another dental problem that can arise when you have sleep apnea is tooth decay. During your sleep, you tend to breathe through your mouth because of the blocked air that is supposed to pass through your nose. In this case, your mouth opens to aid and allow breathing. This exposes your mouth to harmful bacteria, which can damage your teeth while sleeping.  

Periodontal Disease

The teeth are directly connected to your gums. Therefore, it’s likely that you get periodontal diseases when you have excessive tooth decay. The harmful bacteria that eat away the enamel from your teeth can move down to the gum line and further damage your gums. This can result in gingivitis or periodontitis when left untreated.  

man desperately needing help from a dentist in Tampa Bay  

Contact Your Dentist in Tampa Bay for Sleep Apnea Treatment

When you know you snore loudly, feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, or experience daytime fatigue, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is not something you should take for granted because this can harm you in so many ways – leading to stroke, type 2 diabetes, or heart problems.  

Luckily, our dentists at Lake Park Dental are trained in finding traces of sleep apnea. Dentists can be your first line of defense as they can point out marks of sleep apnea, like worn tooth surfaces caused by tooth grinding or a sudden increase in cavities due to tooth decay.  

By indicating these risk factors, our dentists can forward you to a sleep specialist for proper diagnosis. Call us today to learn more about your sleep condition.