Did you know that the way your teeth and jaw are structured could explain why you snore at night? While sleep apnea is often associated with obesity or excess weight and soft tissues collapsing over the airway, your jaw position and teeth also affect the airway. A dental sleep specialist like Dr. Jacob McLauchlin at MAC Dental in Nixa, MO can help uncover and treat the underlying oral health problem to help you stop snoring and get a good night’s sleep.
Oral Health Problems Can Cause Snoring
Wisdom teeth are a common oral health concern among young adults. When the wisdom teeth are trying to erupt in the back of the mouth, they commonly become impacted, or infected, causing swelling and discomfort. This additional swelling in an already small area like the back of the mouth can cause snoring and make it difficult to get good quality sleep.
Another oral health problem that affects snoring is an overbite, which occurs when the lower jaw is situated too far back, causing an uneven bite. As a person with an overbite is sleeping, their jaw settles even further backward, often contributing to the soft tissues collapsing over the airway.
Yet another dental explanation for snoring is TMJ, or a temporomandibular joint disorder. This complex and delicate system of muscles, ligaments, and bone may become misaligned, causing pain, clicking or popping in the jaw, teeth grinding, and many more problems. The misalignment of the jaw as a result of TMJ could result in snoring, and you may also find that you grind your teeth at night.
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Me?
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is obstructed during sleep, making it difficult or impossible to breathe. The reduced oxygen supply to the brain during sleep makes it more difficult to function during the day, as your body is unable to get the restorative benefits from a good night’s sleep. Patients with untreated sleep apnea are at a higher risk of traffic accidents, memory and concentration deficits, and heart disease.
Early and effective treatment, including from a dental sleep specialist, can restore health, improve quality of life and significantly reduce your risk for greater health concerns including heart attack and stroke.
Dental Sleep Medicine in Nixa, MO
A highly-trained dentist like Dr. McLauchlin can identify the underlying problem to recommend the best treatment.
Dr. McLauchlin often recommends an oral appliance to be worn during sleep for patients who are intolerant of CPAP therapy or who have mild to moderate sleep apnea. This appliance is custom fit to each patient’s mouth and helps adjust the jaw to keep the airway open during sleep, and it also reduces the effects of nighttime teeth grinding.
Contact us online today or call our Nixa, MO dentist office at 417.202.0932.