Do you have problems focusing at work or school? Do you typically wake up with a pounding headache? Do you often get sleepy during the afternoon no matter how much sleep you received the night before? If you answer yes to any of these questions, tell your Salem dentist.
Dr. Willis can do more to protect your health than just improve the state of your smile. Our team at Willis Dental is here to help improve your overall health and wellbeing as well! A growing amount of evidence has started to emerge that suggests sleep deprivation – a condition that can cause all of the symptoms listed above – is the root cause for a significant number of daily health conditions. Fortunately, treating sleep deprivation is something our team at Willis Dental can handle.
Your Salem Dentist Can Improve Your Sleep
Dr. Willis can help improve your nightly rest in a way that will help you feel more energized and ready to go in the morning – and it all starts during your next appointment. Your jaw, neck, and mouth can show specific signs that can indicate the quality of sleep you receive each night. Worn-down tooth enamel, for example, can be a sign of anxiety or stress that causes an individual to grind his or her teeth at night. Conversely, the shape of your jaw may also indicate to Dr. Willis that you are at risk for sleep apnea.
When it comes to sleep disorders like sleep apnea, Dr. Willis has the knowledge needed to provide patients with treatment options designed to eliminate nightly snoring and apnea episodes. In addition to examining the position and shape of your jaw, Dr. Willis can conduct an exam to determine if your nightly sleep problems are the result of sleep apnea or snoring. This assessment will include a conversation to discuss the current state of your health. Have you felt groggy during the day? Do you suffer from insomnia? Do you wake up experiencing a dry mouth or a sore throat? An honest conversation that touches upon these and other topics will help Dr. Willis pick up on some subtle, non-physical signs that could potentially signal sleep apnea.
If Dr. Willis believes you suffer from a sleep disorder, he may refer you to a physician for testing. Tests for sleep apnea may include having a physical exam performed by the physician or undergoing a sleep study test, known as a polysomnography, that will measure your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and breathing during sleep. Once have received a diagnosis for sleep apnea or some other sleep disordered breathing condition, you can check back with Dr. Willis to discuss the next steps in treating your condition.
Treating Sleep Apnea
While not common knowledge, your neighborhood dentist may be one of the most well-trained people you could see to manage and treat sleep apnea. Dr. Willis can help improve your nightly sleep quality by fitting you with a mandibular advancement device, an oral appliance that looks similar to a mouth guard but actually opens up your airway while you sleep. Dr. Willis can also provide suggestions on lifestyle changes such as adjusting your diet, or specific sleep positions that can help to improve your sleep.
The area of practice referred to as Dental Sleep Medicine is dedicated to the practice of identifying people at risk for sleep disordered breathing and aiding in the treatment outcomes for those who suffer from various types of sleep disorders. Worn at night to improve air flow, oral appliances are subtle, portable, and don’t require a power source to use. Dr. Willis has received extensive training in the field of sleep medicine and can help you get the rest you deserve.
If you think you suffer from sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Willis about receiving a diagnosis during your next appointment at Willis Dental.