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What Your Mouth Says About Sleeping Disorders

What Your Mouth Says About Sleeping Disorders

Did you know that it might be possible for our Somerville dentist to screen for a sleeping disorder, simply by looking at the inside of your mouth?

Depending on the type of sleep disordered breathing that you have, conditions like obstructive sleep apnoea (or “OSA”) have classic tell-tale signs that they leave in the people who suffer from them.

Here’s a few of the things that we might notice:

 

Flat, Worn Teeth

When your brain is deprived of oxygen, your teeth and jaws tend to clench up. Over time, this leads to excessive wear on your teeth. Gradually, they’ll start to look flat or have sharp edges where the enamel is chipping away. Your dental work could wear out early, too.

 

A Large Neck Circumference

One of the most common risk factors for sleep apnoea is a large neck circumference. This is something you can measure at home, but it has to do with tissues interfering with your airway and thus blocking off oxygen flow.

 

Airway Restriction

When peeking into your mouth, we’ll check for issues at the back that might indicate an airway restriction. For instance, enlarged tonsils, a large tongue, or a small opening at the throat. If you have sinus issues such as chronic congestion or nasal blockages, those factors might play into the situation as well.

 

Jaw Position

A small jaw or one that’s positioned in a slightly retracted position can encourage the soft tissues at the back of your mouth to seal each other off. That’s why so many oral sleep appliances work by guiding your jaw forward.

 

Talk to Our Somerville Dentists Today

Do you snore or wake up with headaches? Somersmiles Dental can talk you through the signs of OSA and refer you to a physician for a sleep study if needed. Contact our Somerville dentist office today to request an exam.