Sleep apnea affects millions of people across the world. People in Fort Worth who have trouble sleeping should not ignore the issue since it could lead to other serious problems. What many people don’t know is when to address their sleep apnea and whom they should talk to. Some of the main signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive snoring
  • Shortness of breath while sleeping
  • Waking abruptly throughout the night
  • Trouble staying in a restful sleep
  • Sleepiness during the daytime
  • Irritability or other mood swings

Every person who has sleep apnea can be affected differently. Many times they may not even be aware they have a problem until their partner or someone else points it out to them. And what catches people by surprise, even more, is when their dentist asks if they are getting restful sleep at night. The link between sleep apnea and dentistry generally isn’t acknowledged by the average person, but there is definitely a connection, and our doctors are here to help.

How Sleep Apnea Relates to Dentistry

Our doctors in Fort Worth will notice signs of worn down teeth, tooth breakage, and receding gums. While it may not be a sure sign of sleep apnea, it’s a definite possibility. Worn down teeth shows that the patient grinds their teeth often, and grinding is typically done at night. In the event of excessively worn teeth, our doctors may present the question of how well a patient sleeps at night.

Not only can grinding teeth potentially wake up a patient throughout the night, but it can also cause damage to the teeth and gums. It’s important to note that dentists cannot diagnose sleep apnea on their own, but they can identify potential signs and suggest the patient visits their primary doctor for a recommendation.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

There are many different reasons why people in Fort Worth may have sleep apnea. Some of the causes can be controlled by changing lifestyle habits, while others may require other treatments. The main causes include:

  • Having a smaller-than-normal upper airway
  • Having a small jaw
  • Having a significant overbite
  • Having a large neck
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Grinding teeth

These causes of sleep apnea can vary among Fort Worth patients. The common theme with each of these causes is the patient’s inability to get restful sleep on a nightly basis. Identifying these causes is the first step in addressing the problem.

Can Sleep Apnea Be Self-Diagnosed?

Sleep apnea is generally too complex to be self-diagnosed. However, it’s very important to recognize any potential signs of sleep apnea as mentioned previously. Since many people don’t even realize they aren’t getting enough rest, it could be that their mood changes throughout the day and they are constantly sleepy for no apparent reason.

It’s also important for a patient in Fort Worth to pay attention to their oral health. If teeth become overly sensitive, if gums begin receding or if any noticeable changes occur in the jaw, it’s time to see our doctors. Sometimes the early stages of sleep apnea may not be completely evident on the surface, but if a dentist is aware of the concerns, then they can take a closer look to help identify potential causes of sleep apnea and make suggestions accordingly.

Importance of Visiting a Dentist Regularly

There are many obvious benefits of visiting a dentist in Fort Worth regularly. Since a person’s dental health plays a significant role in their overall health, getting frequent check-ups is critical. Dentists are often the first people who can identify a potential health problem, such as sleep apnea. Even if patients don’t recognize any signs of sleep apnea at home, a dentist may notice something to prompt them to seek another opinion. The longer sleep apnea goes undiagnosed; the more complications can arise from it. As such, the importance of regular dentist visits is vital and should be considered a necessity.

What Makes Our Practice Stand Out

At Fort Worth Oral Surgery, we care about our patients’ health more than anything else. When you walk through our doors, you will immediately be greeted with a smile and will feel a sense of comfort and relaxation while you wait. Our doctors are friendly and knowledgeable and will be upfront and honest with every patient during their initial consultation. We acknowledge sleep apnea as being a problem many Americans face, and it’s an issue we take very seriously. We know we are often the first line of defense when it comes to identifying the potential signs, and we will always point out anything we see to our patients.

If you’re in need of any type of dental work, be sure to contact our office in Fort Worth by calling (817) 731-2789 to set up an initial consultation. We will do a complete evaluation of your oral health and will never pressure you into any particular procedure. Your comfort is our priority, and we will go out of our way to ensure it’s possible.