You’re likely to be aware that sleep apnea is a condition where people experienced disrupted breathing during sleep. If you’re unaware of the signs and causes, you can find out here. One of the causes in focus here is a person’s weight.
Disruptive breathing occurs when the airway becomes narrow or blocked, and there have been several links to weight, or too much of it.
Weight can not only cause sleep apnea but exacerbate it more and escalate the symptoms. Below explains in more detail how this occurs.
How Does Excess Weight Cause Sleep Apnea?
The fat deposits within a person’s neck are called pharyngeal fat. This presses down and causes the airway to become blocked when lying down. The snoring sound occurs when the air is being squeezed out of a blocked airway. This reduces the lung volume because the chest also becomes compressed. Therefore, the airway becomes restricted.
Can Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain?
Sleep apnea has also been linked to sleep deprivation and those that suffer from sleep apnea do not experience quality sleep. This leads to more airway problems because the layer of fat underneath the neck becomes bigger, obstructing the airway even more.
The Link To Oral Health
Did you know that sleep apnea links to oral health? There are signs you can look out for where oral health may become impacted because of the condition.
- Teeth Grinding – The first sign of sleep apnea is teeth grinding (formerly known as Bruxism). During a check-up and clean, the dentist examines the state of patients oral health and attempts to identify worn-out tooth surfaces. This is a sign that a patient grinds their teeth at night. This can cause wear-and-tear and chips in teeth, damaging your smile.
- Cavities – Cavities form when your mouth enamel has become exposed. The enamel gradually erodes when your teeth chip and crack. This can also lead to tooth decay.
- Low Saliva and Dry Mouth – Sleep apnea has also been linked to experiencing dry mouth. This is because when gasping for air, your mouth becomes dry. This leads to dry mouth and dehydration.
Sleep apnea can contribute to oral health problems as well, and can potentially become dangerous if not treated. Research also suggests that someone will sleep apnea may also suffer from temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder which can jaw pain and chewing problems.
If you’re showing the symptoms of sleep apnea, contact our Chatswood dental team today by checking yourself in for an appointment.