Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. These decreases in oxygen circulating throughout the body may lead to increased risks for stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior, fibromyalgia, and premature death.
Children who have ADD/ADHD, bed-wetting, restless sleep, nightmares, short attention span, or difficulty focusing in school or in math class, may also have sleep apnea.
Sign of Possible Sleep Apnea
- Feel tired even after a full night’s sleep,
- Can’t function well without coffee or tea
- Cough breathing
- Crowded/crooked teeth
- Double chin
- Small lower jaw
- Under-bite or cross-bite
- Disproportioned mid-third face or lower third face
- Dark circles under eyes
- Teeth grinding at night
- Tongue thrusting/dysfunctional swallow
- Swollen tonsils/adenoids
- Chronic allergies
- Other SRBD
Why Dentists Screen for Sleep Apnea
Dentists can screen for sleep apnea when they perform an oral exam. They examine the physiological structures of their patients' airways.
If our office suspects a patient has sleep apnea, we offer an easy at-home sleep test. Home sleep testing reflects your normal sleep most accurately because you are tested in your own bed.
Our dental team works with the patient and dental labs to create a custom oral appliance to treat sleep apnea. This is a great option for those patients that cannot tolerate a CPAP machine. The oral appliances work to open a patient’s airway by widening the bones around the nasal passage and enlarging the airway; or by repositioning the lower jaw and keeping the tongue from blocking the airway; or both.
If you or your children have one or more of the signs or symptoms, you should check for sleep apnea and we might be able to help.
To schedule a consultation with our dental experts, call any of our offices in Livonia [at (734) 425-7888] or Ann Arbor [at (734) 888-8886] or book an appointment online. We're always happy to help our patients!