Orthodontics and Sleep Apnea: Closer Than You Might Think

Par Dr. Normand Bach 01/06/2023

Orthodontics and Sleep Apnea: Closer Than You Might Think

Orthodontics and sleep apnea: do you wake up every day still tired and feeling a bit irritable? It’s possible that you’re suffering from a respiratory disorder such as sleep apnea. Did you know that sleep apnea can be caused or compounded by dental problems?

Dr. Normand Bach, orthodontist in Montréal, explains everything there is to know about the link between sleep apnea and oral health. We’ll also clarify the treatments recommended by your orthodontist that could help you fight this respiratory disorder.

 

Sleep Apnea’s Consequences and Symptoms

Recognizing you suffer from sleep apnea is sometimes one of the hardest parts of treatment. The most frequent and important symptom is a constant feeling of exhaustion throughout the day. This tiredness can often be attributed to other external factors by those who suffer from sleep apnea. Among the other signs of this disorder, we find:

  • Intense migraines when you wake up
  • Being unusually short-tempered and irritable
  • High arterial pressure
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Troubles with your memory
  • And a few others

These symptoms are caused by the sleep apnea itself, which takes the form of repeated interruptions of the respiratory flow throughout the sleeping period. There are a few possible causes, but most cases are caused by an obstruction of the respiratory tract.

The consequences sleep apnea can have on life quality are numerous and significant. Those who suffer from this disorder are more likely to suffer from depression. It’s vital to take respiratory disorders seriously.

 

What’s the Link Between Orthodontics and Sleep Apnea?

“Malocclusion” is a term used to describe any problem that stops the teeth from aligning or fitting together when the jaw closes.

Each case of malocclusion is unique, but there are a few major groups that describe common characteristics between faulty alignments. A lot of malocclusions lead to problems with the tongue’s placement inside the mouth.

When the tongue lacks the space needed to fit inside the mouth, it’s naturally confined to your throat. This retreat is involuntary, and most people won’t even realize that there’s something unusual with their tongue. This abnormal position can obstruct breathing, which, in turn, leads to respiratory problems, such as sleep apnea.

Malocclusions are not the most frequent cause of sleep apnea. However, if you suffer from multiple symptoms listed above and your teeth are not aligned properly, it’s quite possible that this malocclusion is the source of your woes.

 

 

How Can Your Orthodontist Help You?

Sleep apnea can’t be cured. However, it’s possible to lessen the symptoms and its effects on your health thanks to a few treatments. Your orthodontist can offer many ways to fix your malocclusion, which in turn, should have the additional benefit of lessening your sleep apnea and its symptoms.

Orthodontic appliances such as braces and Invisalign aligners can fix most malocclusions and give your tongue enough space to fit properly inside your mouth.

In certain cases, palatal expansion will be necessary. Also called mouth expansion, this procedure consists of installing an appliance that will, over time, broaden the dental arch located at the top of your mouth.

To learn more about this procedure, don’t hesitate to read our article on palate expanders and their side effects.

Depending on your condition, it’s possible that your dentist can help you with your sleep apnea. In any case, it’s important that you visit your orthodontist for any malocclusion problem. Sleep apnea is far from the only possible consequence malocclusions, and other dental problems can have on your health.

Furthermore, orthodontic treatments have a lot of positive effects. In addition to providing you with a smile you can be proud of, well-aligned teeth are less susceptible to tooth decay and other troubles like gingivitis.

 

Take Care of Your Teeth to Take Care of Your Health.

Your mouth is a vital part of the complex system your body represents. Orthodontics and sleep apnea aren’t the only existing link between oral health and overall health.

To give you another example: did you know untreated tooth decay can reach further into your body and irritate your sinuses?

It’s important to take your oral health seriously, as your mouth is intrinsically linked to the rest of your body. If you need tips to take your oral hygiene routine to the next level, please don’t hesitate to ask any question you may have to your dentist.

You can rely on Dr. Normand Bach, orthodontist in Montréal: schedule an appointment today!

 

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