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Improving sleep problems with orthodontics. It is not too unusual for people to have sleeping issues. For some, it seems that no matter how long they stay in bed that they are not refreshed when they wake. This seems to be an ongoing problem for which relief is needed, and braces may offer the perfect solution. In this post, we’re going to show you quick answers to questions on this subject. Let’s dive right in.
The Importance of Quality Sleep
While many people today think nothing of getting a short night of sleep, they may not realize the potential harm in it. The right amount of sleep for most adults is about eight hours. Some people seem to thrive on a little less and some need more. Teens and children should get more.
When you do not get enough sleep, it can affect you in several ways besides just making you sleepy. When you get the right amount of sleep, you are apt to:
- Get sick less often
- Be less likely to gain weight
- Have better performance in sports
- Reduce your stress
- Think more clearly (make better decisions)
- Have better interactions with people (better mood)
- Have better overall health – no diabetes or heart disease.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
One reason why many people suffer from sleep problems is because of sleep apnea. The majority of people who have this problem are not even aware of it, but your bed partner will know about it. This health problem is severe and will lead to a shorter life. If it is untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, irregular heartbeats, diabetes, depression, and many more serious problems.
The reason that so many people do not know that they have this problem is because when the breathing stops, possibly for as long as a minute or more, their brain will wake them up. When they do, they will likely cough, choke, or gasp for air but it will be so brief that they will not remember it.
Sleep apnea is caused by the tissue in the throat collapsing into the airway. It may completely block it – especially when sleeping on your back. It has several symptoms. They include:
- Loud snoring
- Breathing stops while sleeping
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Headache in the morning
- Excessive sleepiness in the day
- Difficulty concentrating
Getting an accurate diagnosis requires that you take a sleep test. This will reveal the type of apnea that you have and the severity. Treatment will vary depending on the level. In order to ensure that you can maintain good health, breathing problems need to be resolved.
Orthodontics can do this in 5 ways:
- When people breathe through their mouths as they sleep, it will dry out the tissue in their mouths. This problem means that they will not get sufficient oxygen and it will dry out the mouth. A dry mouth means that not enough saliva is being generated to help remove the harmful bacteria that cause cavities. This condition will promote cavities and gum disease.
- If the mouth will not close because of the position of the jaw, orthodontic treatment can help reposition the jaw. This will enable them to breathe through their nose and close their mouth while they sleep.
Bruxism – Teeth Grinding
- Bruxism is often a symptom of sleep apnea. It will also wear down and damage your teeth. Like sleep apnea, many people who engage in this habit are not aware of it. It can cause jaw pain (TMJ) and also cause the bite to be off as the teeth become worn. The orthodontist can help correct the bite and provide custom teeth guards to protect the teeth.
Underbites, Overbites, and Crossbites
- These three dental problems of misaligned teeth, when they are more severe, can prevent you from having a good night’s sleep. Besides causing difficulty when breathing in your sleep, it is also apt to cause loud snoring. Orthodontics will help to remedy this problem because it will straighten the teeth.
Methods Used to Help Sleep Problems
1. Retainers – This device helps prevent grinding your teeth at night. Bruxism damages the teeth and can also destroy any dental work that you may already have had.
2. Teeth guard – This simple device is usually sufficient to protect your teeth. You can get a custom-made one from the orthodontist.
3. Orthodontics – Braces can also be used to stop mouth-breathing. Some issues, such as a cleft palate or a narrow palate, can make breathing difficult, forcing the individual to breathe through the mouth. This can easily result in many other complications, but it can be fixed. This process can be used to widen the mouth, which will make it easier to breathe through the nose. Some specialists in the field focus on helping people to be able to breathe better.
4. A dental appliance – There are several types of dental appliances. They help stop sleep apnea and snoring. These problems can be treated in a couple of ways. In addition to what is called a dental or oral appliance, there is also a Mandibular Advancement Splint. Both of these devices work to move the lower jaw forward slightly, which keeps the air passageway open and prevents snoring and helps keep a higher oxygen level in the blood.
A CPAP machine is a device that is commonly used to treat sleep apnea. These machines pump air into a mask that is worn while sleeping. Although they do work well, some people find it difficult to get adjusted to because of the mask and hose, as well as the pressurized air. A dental appliance provides an FDA-approved alternative.
5. Braces – Problems with the temporomandibular joint can also be fixed through the use of orthodontics. Since the pain may be caused by misalignment of the jaw or misalignment of the teeth, orthodontics can straighten both and bring them into their proper alignment. In more serious cases of TMJ, surgery may be needed.
A FREE Consultation
If you are having sleep problems, seeing Dr. Papandreas soon can help you put an end to your sleep problems. After a consultation and examination, a treatment plan will be created to help remedy the problem – and better sleep can be on the way.
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North Royalton, OH44133
Improving Sleep Problems with Orthodontics | 5 EPIC ANSWERS
Dr. Papandreas is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Cleveland Dental Society, Ohio Dental Association and the Schulman Study Group of top orthodontic practices nationally.