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Sleep apnea and dental problems.

 Poor dental care is related to disorders such as sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea and dental problems

Generally, dental health is related to the well-being of the teeth and gums. However, in many cases, the symptoms present in the mouth are signs of problems in other parts of the body. Some oral diseases can lead to cardiovascular complications, muscular complications, and severe infections. 

The relationship between dental health and apnea

A study done at Kochi University in Japan revealed that the higher the degree of dental health, the better the participants' sleep quality, and vice versa. This is due to several factors, but one of the most common is having temporomandibular joint disorders, which are associated with sleep apnea.

The origin of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSA) is the general relaxation of the musculature that occurs during sleep. As a result, the pharynx muscles and the soft palate relax and obstruct the airway, leading to shortness of breath and a lack of oxygen in the blood.

When the brain detects the problem, it tries to reopen the airway by waking the person so briefly that he or she may not even remember it; however, this prevents reaching the deeper stages of sleep.

Sleep apnea solutions

Sleep apnea can cause symptoms such as tiredness or fatigue, headache, dry mouth, irritability, loss of concentration, and long-term problems such as anxiety, depression, heart disease, and increased risk of diabetes. For this reason, it is essential to solve it.

Nowadays, there are many treatments to correct sleep apnea. However, in the most severe cases, the patient may have to live with a machine that prevents airway collapse (CPAP) or may opt for surgery.

In moderate or mild cases, mandibular advancement devices solve most problems. This non-invasive method is tailored to the patient's bite and dramatically improves sleep quality. The function of the devices is to prevent the jaw from shifting posteriorly and collapsing the airway. In this way, it improves symptoms in a short time.