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Sleep Apnea and Braces

Braces do more than simply straighten teeth. They improve quality of life by correcting your bite, increasing your confidence, reducing teeth wear, and eliminating conditions such as bad breath (halitosis) and teeth grinding (bruxism).

The truth is, the alignment of your mouth can have a large impact on the rest of your body. For those who suffer from bruxism, it can even help them sleep better. But can braces help with other sleeping related problems?

Let’s say, for example, sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Those who don’t have sleep apnea may think it’s a technical term for people who snore aggressively. Those with sleep apnea know it’s much more serious.

Sleep apnea is a disorder where a person’s breathing becomes shallow or stops altogether while they sleep. Those with severe sleep apnea can experience pauses for ten seconds or more. When it happens, they’ll make a loud snoring or choking sound.

This can thirty times or more in an hour.

There are different types of sleep apnea. The most common, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when a person’s airway collapses or becomes blocked by their tongue. Less common is central sleep apnea. This happens when your brain doesn’t send the right signals to your breathing muscles.

Central sleep apnea is typically tied to medical conditions or medications.

Regardless of what type of sleep apnea you have, the end result is the same: poor sleeping, exhaustion, and general discomfort.

Because sleep apnea happens when you’re asleep, some people aren’t even aware they have it.

Can Braces Help with Sleep Apnea?

Most types of sleep apnea stem from the general shape and flow of your mouth and breathing passageways. Braces, of course, help align your teeth and jaw, and can open up the airways for easier breathing. Because of this, treatment from braces may help lessen the severity of sleep apnea.

If you struggle with sleep apnea and have misalignment, you may want to consult with your doctor as well as an orthodontist. In need of a Shakopee orthodontist? Schedule a consultation at our conveniently located Prior Lake office today!