Sleep Apnea Treatment Concord NC

You go to the dentist to make sure that your teeth, mouth and gums are clean and healthy. But your oral health can provide clues to your general well-being. If you’re always fatigued and having trouble sleeping, have you considered visiting Robert Rogers DDS in Concord, NC, for a sleep apnea evaluation?

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can range from mild to serious. It is characterized by pauses in breathing during your slumber.

When you stop getting enough oxygen, your brain wakes you up. While these waking periods can be so brief that you don’t notice, they can break up your sleep cycle, leaving you feeling exhausted during the day.

Some symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and restlessness

This condition can also increase your risk of the following conditions:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart problems
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Liver problems
  • Metabolic syndrome

The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Oral Health

The most common form of this condition is obstructive sleep apnea. In this situation, your throat muscles relax so much when you sleep that they block your airway. Problems with your tongue or jaw can also prevent you from getting the oxygen that you need while you sleep.

Some of the symptoms of this disorder become evident during a dental exam. These include:

  • Teeth grinding –Scientists have found a correlation between teeth grinding and this sleep disorder. They’re not sure why this happens, but many people with apnea tense their jaw or grind their teeth.
  • Cavities in molars – Decay in the molars may indicate that a patient grinds their teeth.
  • Throat redness – Snoring and mouth breathing during sleep can irritate the sensitive tissues in the throat.
  • Scalloped tongue – Someone with a small jaw or large tongue, two factors that may contribute to this condition, may have indentations around their tongue from their teeth.

Many patients have no idea that they have this issue. They have insomnia but don’t know what to attribute it to. They may snore but don’t realize the effect that their breathing patterns have on their sleep. Often, their sleep partners alert them to their symptoms when they’re awoken by the patient gasping for air, snoring loudly or failing to breathe during the night.

How Dentists Identify Sleep Apnea

At Robert Rogers DDS in Concord, NC, during an oral exam, our team of dental professionals examines your teeth as well as the tissues inside of your mouth. We will look at your tongue and throat as well as your gums and bite. If we see multiple symptoms, we might ask you questions about your sleep patterns and quality.

Robert Rogers DDS and his team in Concord, NC, can test and treat you for sleep apnea. We measure the volume of your upper airway using a 3D x-ray machine. We will also discuss other ways to identify and manage the condition at home.

How We Treat This Sleep Disorder

Many patients who are unaware of the cause of their daytime fatigue or jaw pain experience relief from our treatments.

If your apnea is mild or moderate, it can usually be treated with a mandibular advancement device. This mouthpiece is designed to help you sleep comfortably while aligning your jaw and keeping your airway open.

You won’t be able to sleep if you’re not comfortable. That’s why we customize the device to fit your jaw and facial structure.

If you’re concerned that you might have sleep apnea, contact Robert Rogers, DDS in Concord, NC. We would be happy to set up a consultation and go over your symptoms and treatment options.