Oral Conditions Can Affect Your Sleep

When you think about oral health conditions, cavities and gum disease probably come to mind. Cavities are the most common oral health issue, and they affect nearly every adult at some point. If you notice tooth pain or black spots on your teeth, you may be able to spot cavities. If your gums are red and swollen, it may be the result of gum disease. While these conditions are visible, there are another set of oral conditions that affect you while you sleep. These conditions can inhibit your ability to get quality rest, and they can be difficult to diagnose on your own.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Disrupts Your Restful Sleep

Sleep apnea is a condition that disrupts the sleep of many adults at night. Obstructive sleep apnea causes individuals to wake up hundreds of times throughout the night, hindering their ability to get deep, restful sleep. While victims of sleep apnea wake up many times throughout the night, they don’t usually regain consciousness, so you may not even realize that you have the condition. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage in your airway (usually the result of relaxed oral tissue like your tongue) that prevents you from breathing normally. The lack of oxygen will eventually cause you to wake up.

TMJ and Bruxism Are Subconscious Afflictions

Another set of conditions that affect individuals while they sleep are TMJ and Bruxism. TMJ refers to joint disorders in your jaw that can cause inflammation and pain. Bruxism is an unconscious teeth grinding in your sleep. These conditions can often be related, and they both do their damage while you are not even aware they’re happening. If you’re suffering from TMJ or Bruxism, you may experience unexplained headaches and jaw pain. Just like sleep apnea, you may be able to treat these conditions by visiting your dentist.

Talk to Your Dentist About Sleep Apnea, TMJ, or Bruxism

While these harmful conditions can be tricky to spot, they may actually be easy to treat. Your dentist can often diagnose these conditions (or refer you to a sleep specialist who can). Once it’s confirmed that you are suffering from one of these subconscious issues, your dentist can craft a solution to help you get better sleep. In both sleep apnea and bruxism cases, your dentist may be able to fashion a custom sleep guard that shifts your bite to allow airflow, or protects your teeth from unconscious grinding. By wearing an oral appliance at night, you can restore your restful nights.

Ask About Sleep Medicine at Potach and Mitchell Dental

Cavities and gum disease aren’t the only oral health conditions that affect individuals. If you’re a chronic snorer, or you wake up with jaw pain in the morning, talk to our team at Potach and Mitchell. If we diagnose an issue, we can explore your options for custom sleep guards to protect your teeth and your sleep.


Our team offers our patients and their family access to comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.