What your Sleep Dentist Sees

One of the first things I see that alerts me that my patient may have Sleep Apnea is Bruxism. This may or may not be related to Sleep Apnea. But there are other signs besides signs of teeth grinding and clenching. 

Some research shows that in order to compensate for the blockage of airway by the tongue, one would clench the teeth as the tongue pushes up against the teeth causing these marks on the tongue and cheek over a period of time. Other research shows that due to stress from being unable to breath, one would protrude the jaw forward to be able to breath, and end up grinding their front teeth as a response to this stress showing more wear. 

Extraoral Visual Signs: Male Gender, Thick Short Neck, Position of Hyoid Bone (above Adam's Apple), Higher Body Mass(body fat or muscle)

Systemic Signs: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Thyroid Issues, Chronic Acid Reflux w/ or w/o Heartburn, Obesity, Depression, Anxiety, Daytime Fatigue, Doze off easily, Morning Headaches, Polynocturia(multiple night time bathroom runs), Wake up frequently during sleep, Irritable. 

Reports by Others: Spouse or Family complains of snoring noises, or saw you stop breathing during sleep. 

In Children: Childhood Bruxism - teeth wear, wetting bed issues, ADHD or symptoms similar, unable to concentrate at school, enlarged tonsils/adenoids, parents witness child stops breathing, snores or hears grinding noises, overly emotional or irritable, daytime fatigue, failure to thrive during development.

Dr. Hyun S. Bang, D.D.S. Doctor of Dental Surgery Loma Linda University 2008

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