Do I Need Sleep Apnea Treatment and How Can a Periodontist Help?

September 15, 2022

Do you have symptoms such as loud snoring at night, fatigue, sleeplessness, shortness of breath, morning headache, gasping for air while sleeping, or other respiratory conditions? These could be indicators that normal breathing is not occurring during sleep. Is this a case of sleep apnea? What is the connection between sleep apnea and gum disease? Do I need sleep apnea, and how can a periodontist help? Continue reading to learn about the link between sleep apnea and gum disease and how to treat the problem.

But first, a quick definition of sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic breathing disorder that causes repeated breathing stops and starts at different times during sleep cycles, resulting in frequent sleep interruptions. These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and occur 30 or more times per hour.

Obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome are the three main types of sleep apnea. While the effects of these three types of sleep apnea differ, the signs and symptoms frequently overlap. Among the symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Morning headache
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Irritability and lots more

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, as it is commonly known, occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much, allowing for an easier flow of air, which improves normal breathing. Some of the muscle support structures are as follows:

  • Soft palate, which is the back of the roof of your mouth
  • Uvula (the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate
  • The tonsils
  • The tongue

When these muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe, causing difficulty breathing for 10 seconds or more.

The Role of Periodontist Play in Sleep Apnea Treatment

Because people with sleep apnea breathe through their mouths rather than their noses, this can reduce saliva production and result in dry mouth. A dry mouth, in turn, can encourage the growth of oral bacteria and make it simpler for gingivitis or other gum diseases to manifest themselves by causing inflammation of the gums. You should inform your periodontist as soon as your doctor has confirmed the diagnosis of the condition.

Fitting you with an oral sleep appliance is one of the treatments for sleep apnea. This CPAP machine resembles a retainer for braces. Regular gum probing is an excellent way to check on the effectiveness of the sleep appliance and the progress of your gums’ healing. A visit to the periodontist may suggest periodontal probing rather than a sleep aid determine the depth of your gum pockets. Gum pockets shouldn’t be larger than 4mm. A more thorough cleaning procedure called Laser Periodontal Treatment is advised if your gum disease shows no improvement. The lasers stimulate the gum pockets’ stem cells to produce new collagen and connective tissues.

Final Thoughts

Although various factors can contribute to this illness, several studies have shown that sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much to allow breathing. Breathing causes dry mouth, which leads to gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This disease necessitates the periodontist’s specialization. Only a trained periodontist can recommend the best oral device for you and optimize the fit.

This is why it is critical that you select the best periodontist to treat your sleep apnea. We have qualified and experienced periodontists at Perio Health Professionals who can help you effectively diagnose and treat any sleep disorder.

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