While it will require a sleep study to diagnose and confirm sleep apnea, it is often easy to determine if a person has it or not simply by looking at the signs and symptoms the person is experiencing. Many dentists are now offering services to treat sleep apnea, and this is why your dentist may ask you questions about your sleep habits. If your dentist suspects you may have this, you will need to undergo the sleep study to verify it, and here are some of the signs that cause your dentist to suspect that you suffer from this condition.
Your teeth show signs
A dentist will often suspect some type of problem if a person's teeth show signs of grinding. Grinding of the teeth is a habit people do while sleeping, and it is hard to control, simply because it occurs while the person is asleep. While grinding does not always mean that a person has sleep apnea, it is very common with people who do have this condition. If your dentist sees that your teeth are wearing down, he or she will assume it is from grinding, and this will be the first sign that the person may have sleep apnea.
Your jaw hurts
People who grind their teeth often experience jaw pain, and the jaw pain often extends into the person's face, ears, and head. If your dentist finds out that you have constant jaw pain, he or she may suspect sleep apnea.
You snore really loudly
Your dentist is also likely to ask you if you snore. People with sleep apnea almost always snore very loudly, and they also stop breathing and gasp for air while asleep. While you probably do not know how loud your snoring it, your spouse or family members can probably tell you.
You are always tired
People with sleep apnea generally feel tired almost all the time, and this is another common sign that a person may suffer from sleep apnea. With this condition, it is almost impossible to sleep well at night. Instead of sleeping for hours undisturbed, sleep apnea will cause you to wake up over and over throughout the night. This leads to exhaustion and fatigue, and it can also lead to irritability and many other problems.
If you have these signs, a dentist like those at Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC may tell you to get checked out to find out if you have sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with this condition, there are several good treatment options for it.