What does sleep apnea have to do with my teeth?

Sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs during sleep.  It is estimated to affect more than 22 million people. It is a potentially life threatening condition, as it can increase risk for high blood pressure,  heart attack,  stroke,  and other medical conditions.

What can my dentist do about sleep apnea?  Some of the risk factors associated with sleep apnea can be easily identified—certain ethnicities are predisposed, for example, as are people over the age of 40—but some of the risk factors—having a small upper airway, a large overbite, recessed chin, or even teeth grinding—are easily diagnosed by a general dentist.

Find a dentist familiar with the risks of sleep apnea, and he or she can determine if a patient needs further diagnostic tests or treatment.  The staff at McComb & Stewart Dentistry, Richmond’s downtown dentist, is trained to diagnose these risk factors and can even offer treatment for some apneas.  Please contact us at 804-672-1400 for more information.

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