The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Your Dentist. You can Save a Life Today by reading this article and being proactive with your family and friends.

Struggling with snoring and sleeplessness? Call your dentist. Yes your dentist. Snoring and sleep disturbances are often signs of obstructive sleep apnea, and your oral health could be to blame.
“A lot of patients are surprised that I ask about their sleep,” says Dr Bittner, DDS, a dentist in in Palm Desert Ca. who specializes in sleep apnea. But “a dentist is often the earliest diagnostician of sleep disorders.”

Many of the key medical practitioners that specialize in sleep and sleep apnea believe that over 30 million Americans have sleep apnea. The condition causes repeated breathing interruptions throughout the night; the pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 or more times per hour. These pauses happen because the muscles in the back of the throat are flaccid, the tongue is too large, or the jaw is too small, causing airway obstructions.

The first sign of sleep apnea is often tooth grinding (also called bruxism). Dentists look for worn tooth surfaces, a sign that a patient grinds his or her teeth. Grinding can cause tooth wear and breakage as well as inflamed and receding gums. A spike in cavities can also be a sign of grinding because the force damages teeth, making them susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.

At night while sleeping, “When you tense your jaw and grind your teeth, it sends a message to your brain to wake up so you can take a breath,” Dr Bittner explains.

Grinding is just one oral health sign of sleep apnea. A small jaw, tongue with scalloped edges, or redness in the throat (caused by snoring a lot, which is another symptom of sleep apnea) are also signs.

Gasping for breath causes people to wake up repeatedly, which diminishes sleep quality and causes fatigue. Sleep apnea is linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Over 30 areas of the body are affected by Sleep Apnea .

When a dentist thinks someone has sleep apnea, he or she will often recommend a sleep survey and then go with a sleep study if the information obtained warrants more info.. Most dentists that have experience in treating patients for sleep apnea work closely with doctors that are sleep based also to help their patients find the best solution for treatment. Cases that are mild to moderate can be treated with an oral appliance. Those that have a higher level may need a CPAP or more testing to determine the best treatment plan for this individual. Doctors and Dentists are working closely to find a perfect solution for todays patient. Dr Bittner owns a dental practice in Palm Desert Ca and a new office in Rancho Santa Fe that will open summer of 2018.

Today over 2000 deaths per day are based on sleep apnea complications.

The American Dental Association (ADA) has recently adopted new policy regarding the screening of Sleep Apnea in every dental office nationwide. A major breakthrough in thinking for patient treatment.

Please go to for more information. You will also find a free sleep assessment survey that can be filled out and or sent to someone you know that may have the symptoms described in this article. Hippa Compliant with all info received.