Is your Snoring linked to your Oral Health?

Struggling with snoring and sleeplessness? Call your dentist.

Snoring and sleep disturbances are often signs of obstructive sleep apnea, and your oral health could be to blame.

The first sign of sleep apnea is often tooth grinding. Dentists look for worn tooth surfaces, a sign that a patient grinds his or her teeth. Grinding can cause tooth wear and breakage as well as inflamed and receding gums. A spike in cavities can also be a sign of grinding because the force damages teeth, making them susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.

At night while sleeping, as you tense your jaw and grind your teeth, it sends a message to your brain to wake up so you can take a breath.

Grinding is just one oral health sign of sleep apnea. A small jaw, tongue with scalloped edges, or redness in the throat (caused by snoring a lot, which is another symptom of sleep apnea) also signs.

Gasping for breath causes people to wake up repeatedly, which diminishes sleep quality and causes fatigue. Sleep apnea is linked to a higher risk of high blood pressureheart diseasediabetes, and obesity.

Please, note, your dentist is well trained to the signs of possible sleep apnea, however only a medical doctor can diagnose this. Therefore you can ask your dentist the following:

Is a night guard enough? 

If you’re wearing a mouthguard through the night, it might be time to see a specialist. A custom-made guard can reduce grinding and the cavitiesheadaches, and jaw pain it causes,  and it can also help with sleep apnea.

Is my periodontal disease a sign of a bigger problem? 

If there’s a lot of decay, it could be a result of grinding and sleep apnea, however, it is not necessarily linked.

How do I know if I have sleep apnea? 

Chronic snoring is the most common sign of sleep apnea. Other symptoms include daytime drowsiness, waking up with a dry mouth, or a sore throat and morning headaches. If you have any of these symptoms, inform your dentist. See a medical doctor for further diagnoses.


For all your dental needs, visit Corne Smith Dentistry in Cape Town Claremont.