At Desert Dental, our comprehensive new patient examination is, well, comprehensive. Some of the questions we ask patients may be a first for them at a dental appointment. Here’s a great example of a question most patients haven’t heard from a dentist:
Do you snore?
There are several reasons why your “mouth doctor” should ask. The dentist has a front row seat to your airway. Snoring is a common finding, it is often an indicator of a health problem. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is an example of sleep disordered breathing that many patients suffer from because it’s 90% undiagnosed. The long-term health effects of these conditions are serious.
Sleep disorders can negatively affect your teeth. Patients who snore sleep with their mouths open can suffer from dry mouth. Saliva protects our teeth from decay and our gums from inflammation. If your mouth is dried out all night, your body isn’t protecting itself with its own natural defense system.
Common signs of sleep apnea include:
Drowsiness during the day
Personality changes/ irritability
Difficulty staying asleep
Awakening with a very dry or a sore throat
So what should you do? Visit us and get screened. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to share these findings with your physician and your dentist. Together, they can make recommendations that may not only improve your dental health and overall, it may also save your life. If you need a dentist that can serve your smile and health in Rita Ranch we would love for our practice to be your dental home.