Do have trouble concentrating? Do you tend to zone out at school or work? Do most mornings start with a pounding headache? Do you suffer from daytime drowsiness regardless of how much sleep you got the night before? If you answered yes to any of these questions, tell your Tigard family dentist!
Dr. Han is concerned about more than just the state of your smile. He’s here to assist you in promoting better oral and overall health as well. In recent years, a growing amount of evidence has emerged that shows sleep deprivation – a condition that can cause all of the symptoms listed above – is the root of a significant number of daily problems. Fortunately, treating sleep deprivation is something we can help you with at Tigard Family Dental.
Your Tigard Family Dentist Can Help You Sleep Better
Dr. Han can assist you with getting a better night’s sleep, and it starts during your next dental appointment. Your jaw, neck, and mouth can display the telltale signs that indicate the quality of sleep you get on a nightly basis. For example, worn-down tooth enamel can be an indication of anxiety or stress that causes an individual to grind their teeth at night. The shape of your jaw may signify to Dr. Han that you have an increased risk for sleep apnea.
When it comes to sleep disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea or snoring, Dr. Han understands what these conditions can mean to a good night’s rest. In addition to examining the shape and position of your jaw, Dr. Han can perform an exam to determine whether your poor sleep is the result of apnea or snoring. Your assessment will include questions about your general well-being of late. Do you feel groggy during the day? Do you typically wake up with a dry or sore throat? Do you suffer from insomnia? A candid conversation that covers these types of questions can inform Dr. Han as to whether a patient may be showing the non-physical signs of sleep disordered breathing.
If Dr. Han believes you may suffer from a sleep disorder, he may refer you to a sleep physician for further testing and treatment. This could involve having a physical exam conducted by the physician or undergoing a polysomnography – or sleep – test to measure markers like your blood oxygen level, breathing, and heart rate while asleep. Once you’ve received your sleep disordered breathing diagnosis, you can check back in with Dr. Han to determine what the best course of treatment might be for protecting your oral health and improving your nightly rest.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
While not widely known, many dentists specialize in the treatment and management of sleep apnea. For patients suffering from sleep apnea, sleep specialists and sleep dentists can improve your sleep quality by fitting you for a mandibular advancement device – an oral appliance that resembles a mouth guard that works to open your airway at night while you sleep – to recommending lifestyle changes you can make, such as eating a low fat diet or refraining from using computer screens right before bed.
Dentists possess the knowledge needed to help you find alternative treatment options to CPAP machines, which have long been considered the standard for treating sleep apnea. Unfortunately, many patients find just the idea of wearing a CPAP device enough to avoid seeking treatment for their apnea. For patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, there are other treatment options available that sleep specialists can help patients explore.
If you think you might suffer from sleep apnea, don’t let the fear of CPAP and other uncomfortable devices prevent you from receiving the treatment needed for a better night’s rest. Talk with Dr. Han about your sleep troubles and get on the road to getting the sleep you deserve.