Constantly Tired? Why Your Teeth (Or Lack There Of) Might Be To Blame

Are you plagued by a constant lack of energy? Do you go to bed early and drink way too much caffeine, yet still find yourself groggy and ready for a nap before lunchtime? If so, it may be time to schedule a visit with your dentist. Read on to find out why.

A Bit About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If you think you're getting ample rest and proper nutrition but you can't seem to muster any energy, it's likely you have obstructive sleep apnea. Other symptoms of this condition include a sore throat, mood changes, periods of wakefulness during the night (although, sufferers often don't remember these episodes upon waking), and loud snoring.

What happens in a person with obstructive sleep apnea is that their throat muscles relax during the night, putting pressure on and narrowing their airway. This narrowing can become so severe that breathing actually ceases for up to 20 seconds at a time. These episodes can happen as frequently as 30 times a night, every single night.

Not only do sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea have less oxygenated blood than a normal sleeper, but they are unable to ever achieve the deep, restful phase of sleep that actually rejuvenates them.

What Your Teeth Have To Do With It

The loss of teeth can change the entire structure of your face. With no teeth to support, your jawbone recedes and the new resting position of your mouth can actually result in obstructive sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea can happen to anyone and causes include obesity, enlarged tonsils, certain cancers, and birth defects. If you're missing your teeth, though, or if they're badly decayed, there's a good possibility that this is the cause of your condition.

Worse Yet, The Reverse It True As Well

Not only will damaged or missing teeth cause sleep apnea, but sleep apnea can cause damaged or missing teeth, as well! The snoring and gasping associated with sleep apnea can dry out your mouth and lower the saliva levels inside of it. Since saliva works to protect your teeth from bacteria, your teeth are more susceptible to decay when you have sleep apnea.

The relationship between damaged teeth and sleep apnea is a vicious cycle that worsens and worsens until it is dealt with.

A Denture Clinic Can Help You Sleep

By replacing your missing teeth with a partial or full set of dentures, you can restore your jawbone to its natural position. With your facial structure no longer interfering with your airway, you'll breathe freely all night long and begin to once again experience restful night sleeps. 

If your teeth are decayed and need to be extracted, take comfort in knowing that today's technology makes the procedure pain-free, although you may experience some soreness after the extractions. Also, many denturists will fit you with a new set of pearly-whites on the same exact day your old ones are extracted.

If You Already Have Dentures

Even if you already have dentures, a denturist at a denture clinic may be able to help. If you grind your teeth (which many people who suffer from sleep apnea do), there's a chance that your dentures just need to be refitted. 

If your jaw bone has excessive deterioration, daytime use may not be enough to correct your nighttime breathing patterns and your denturist may recommend that you sleep with your dentures in at night for sleep apnea relief.

There is an undeniable link between sleep apnea and dental health. If your teeth are damaged or missing and you feel like you're constantly tired, it's time to visit a dental clinic and see how they can help.