Sleep apnoea and dentistry- What’s the link?
As dentists, we always tend to focus primarily on teeth and we are very good at doing so. Often though, we are presented with patients who have issues like;
- Jaw pain
- Grinding their teeth at night (bruxism)
- Inflamed gums
- Acid erosion around teeth from reflux
- Restorations that are breaking down
- Mouth breathing
- They suffer from daytime sleepiness
So, I found myself in Sydney on my weekend, furthering my knowledge in the area of sleep apnoea with 17 other dentists from around Australia. There we had 2 days of intensive lectures, where we learnt about the dangerous effects of sleep apnoea, bruxism, orthodontics, nutritional deficiencies, snoring, mouth breathing and how surprisingly, they are all inter related. Sadly, patients who have any of the issues above, may also be suffering from sleep apnoea and may not even be aware of it!
Symptoms that may alert Dr Meenakshi to send you for a sleep study include:
- Day time sleepiness
- Waking at night to go to the toilet
- Grinding your teeth
Once you have had a sleep study, and if you have a diagnosis of sleep apnoea, the sleep physician may recommend you commence treatment with:
- CPAP (continuous positive airways pressure) using a CPAP machine and mask which keeps your airways open.
- A temporomandibular splint made by Somnomed, which we can organise for you at Smile In Style.
At Smile In Style we are now set up to assess your sleep and your health.