Have you noticed broken, cracked, or chipped teeth recently? Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Did you know there is a connection between sleep apnea and broken or damaged teeth?
How Can Sleep Apnea Damage Teeth?
While many people attribute tooth breakage to aging or weakened enamel due to excessive sugar consumption, there could be a more serious cause. Sleep apnea is often a cause of unintended damage to a person’s teeth over time.
Chronic sleep apnea can stress the jaw and mouth muscles while we sleep, leading to the deterioration of teeth. The pressure can cause chips, cracks, and other fractures.
How to Protect Your Teeth from Sleep Apnea?
Protecting your teeth from sleep apnea is possible. Here are some tips to help you protect your teeth:
- Schedule a sleep study: The best way to protect your teeth from damage caused by sleep apnea is to identify the root cause. A sleep study will help diagnose sleep apnea. Then, you and your doctor can work on the best intervention to treat the condition. Don’t try to treat the symptoms without a professional diagnosis.
- Don’t wear a nightguard: A regular nightguard with a flat plane can actually increase sleep apnea symptoms. A nightguard allows the bottom jaw to fall backwards. A specilaized oral appliance to treat sleep apnea holds the jaw forward to improve breathing. Work with your dentist to determine the best oral appliance for your health.
- See a dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups can help identify any potential issues with your teeth before they become a problem.
- Treat sleep apnea: If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, seek treatment as soon as possible. Early intervention can help reduce the risk of damage to your teeth and other health complications associated with sleep apnea.
- Use a CPAP machine: A CPAP machine can help reduce sleep apnea symptoms. The machine helps keep your airways open while you sleep, reducing the risk of tooth damage.
- Use a specialized dental appliance: If a CPAP isn’t the best treatment for you, ask your dentist about a mandibular appliance to wear while you sleep. The device helps position the jaw to open the airway and reduce sleep apnea symptoms. Use a custom device from your dentist.
By understanding the connection between sleep apnea and broken teeth, you can take steps to protect your teeth from further damage.
How to Take Care of Damaged Teeth
If you have experienced damage to your teeth, it’s essential to visit a dentist to discuss treatment. The treatment may differ depending on the type and severity of the damage.
Your dentist may recommend a dental crown, veneer, or bonding to repair the damage. In more severe cases, they may suggest a root canal or even tooth extraction. Dental implants can replace a missing tooth due to damage.
If you have sleep apnea, take extra care of your teeth. Brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for regular checkups. This will help ensure that your teeth remain healthy and that we catch any issues early.
Specialized Dental Care for Sleep Apnea Patients
Atlanta Smiles specializes in dental care for sleep apnea patients. We will work with you to ensure you have the best treatment plan to protect your oral health.
Contact us to schedule a dental checkup or for treatment to repair a damaged tooth.