Can Dental Problems Lead To Sleep Apnea?

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You can only address sleep apnea when you understand its roots. Central sleep apnea comes from a nervous system failure that stops breathing while the patient is asleep. On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea’s roots are linked to conditions that could be addressed through oral pathology in Aventura, FL.  This means that simple dental and oral problems can contribute to OSA. The two dental issues commonly linked to sleep apnea are crooked teeth and temporomandibular joint disorders.

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Contributing Factors

Crooked Teeth

Malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth, is a leading cause of obstructive sleep apnea. The uneven spacing between the teeth reduces the size of the airway significantly. Because most OSA patients breathe through the mouth, the teeth themselves become blockages that force respiration to stop.  Your dentist or orthodontist can help you fix crooked teeth through surgery or dental appliances like veneers and braces.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Temporomandibular joint disorders affect the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull or the surrounding muscles. TMJ issues arise because of breathing problems during sleep that force the lower jaw to shift backward. Blunt trauma can also alter the shape of the jaw. Any misalignment in the jaws constricts the upper respiratory tract’s opening like crooked teeth. Later on, this contributes to the onset of OSA. It also results in habits like teeth grinding. You should check yourself and see if you have the following symptoms that indicate TMJ problems:

  • Frequent migraines and headaches
  • Jaw pain upon waking up
  • Tinnitus
  • Jaw popping and clicking
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Pain in the face and neck
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Treat Your Sleep Apnea With Oral Pathology in Aventura, FL

Sleep apnea threatens about 22 million Americans. It is a life-threatening disease that gives way to other risky conditions like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular problems. You should approach your doctor and confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea.  After receiving your diagnosis, please contact us to find out how oral pathology can help ease your symptoms and avoid the complications of sleep apnea.