Are you zoning out at work? Having difficulty concentrating? Are you waking up often with a pounding headache? Do you often get sleepy – or even fall asleep – when you shouldn’t?
Talk to us!
We are concerned with more than just your pearly whites. We’re here to help you with your overall health and well-being too! More and more evidence is coming out to show that sleep deprivation- a condition that can result in all the symptoms listed at the top of this post- is the basis of many every day conditions. Fortunately, treating sleep deprivation is something we can do here at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.
Dentists Can Help You Sleep
Your mouth, neck and jaw can display telltale signs that point to the quality of sleep you are getting. For instance, worn-down enamel can be a sign of stress or anxiety that causes a person to grind their teeth at night. The shape of your jaw may also signify to us that you are at risk for sleep apnea (also known as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA).
Besides having a look at the shape and positioning of your jaw, we can perform an exam to assess if your compromised sleep is related to sleep apnea or snoring. This assessment should include a conversation about your general well-being as of late. Are you feeling groggy throughout the day? Do you ever wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth? Do you experience insomnia? A candid conversation that covers topics like these may well alert us to the subtler, non-physical signs of sleep ailment breathing.
Sleep Apnea: The Dentist’s Way Forward
Although it may not be widely known, dentists, like myself, are specially trained to treat and manage sleep apnea. In our office, we prescribe the SomnoDent ® MAS for sleep apnea treatment. This is a custom made device, designed to hold your lower jaw (mandible) forward while you sleep. This tightens the muscles of the upper airway to allow easier breathing. It does not impinge on your tongue and fits completely inside your mouth, which means it is more comfortable and discreet than other products. It is the only device of its kind to allow normal mouth opening and closing. This means you can talk or drink with the device in position and close your lips. And, it can be adjusted forward and back to the optimum position for effective treatment.
If you think you might be suffering from sleep disordered breathing, bring it up with us the next time you go for a check-up. We’ll be sure to put you on the route for better sleep.