Over 25 percent of people snore during sleep, which usually gets worse with age. Snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when there are multiple pauses in breathing during sleep, which has been shown to increase the likelihood of systemic health problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke.
Sleep apnea is also linked to nighttime grinding and bruxing, which helps to open the airway during sleep. However, the nighttime grinding destroys your teeth and may cause joint issues. We may recommend a sleep apnea oral appliance for you to wear if we suspect that you may be grinding your teeth due to sleep apnea.
During your check up exam, we examine your tonsils and adenoids. We may refer you to a trusted ENT or a sleep medicine specialist for further evaluation and treatment if we think you may have chronic obstructive sleep apnea that does not improve with the use of an oral appliance. Additionally, we may refer you to an orthodontist who specializes in expanding narrow jaws to alleviate airway obstruction issues.