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Dental Sleep Medicine
Most people say, “I hate going to the dentist!” However, if your dentist practices Dental Sleep Medicine, an office visit might not be so bad. Over the years of being a general dentist many patients have come in with pain not caused by their teeth. When I tell them they have a sinus infection, or their facial muscles are in spasm and they have Temporomandibular disorders (TMD), they are shocked and relieved that they do not need a root canal.

A person who grinds their teeth at night can wake up with headaches and tooth pain. Sometimes snoring can indicate obstructive sleep apnea which is causing the grinding of your teeth. When patients come into the office because they snore, usually it is their sleeping partner who made them make an appointment. The sound of snoring can be as loud as a jet engine and your sleeping partner, in most cases, has a night of interrupted sleep. One third of those who snore have obstructive sleep apnea which is a very serious life threatening medical condition. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) recommends that anyone who snores should be tested for sleep apnea.

Dental Sleep Medicine is the focus in dentistry where a patient is evaluated for the potential treatment for sleep apnea. When the evaluation comes out positive, the patient is referred to a sleep specialist for an overnight sleep test. If the evaluation comes out negative, then a snoring mouthpiece can be made. If the sleep test is positive, a custom sleep apnea dental device can be made. Other areas of Dental Sleep Medicine include the treatment of TMD, Bruxism and the dental evaluation of head and neck pain. Please be aware if your child snores, he or she should be evaluated for the cause. Saying that the child will outgrow the snoring can lead to more serious future problems.

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