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What is the Connection between Stress and Sleep Apnea?

Posted by Dr. Dadseresht on Oct 22 2020, 08:06 AM

Stress and sleep apnea are found to be interconnected - one affecting the other. A stressed mind would find it difficult to rest and go to sleep. In turn, not having enough rest or having disturbed sleep can cause stress and anxiety.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that disrupts breathing by blocking airflow to the lungs while you sleep. This can happen hundreds of times in the night without your knowledge. Sleep apnea is a common condition in the US, with over 22 million Americans suffering from the disorder, among whom 80% remain undiagnosed.

The signs and symptoms that you suffer from sleep apnea are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during the night
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention during the day
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Irritability

How does Stress cause Sleep Apnea?

If you suffer from sleep apnea and you develop stress over time, your condition is likely to worsen. If you do not get enough sleep, you may feel depressed and anxious. Also, if you wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night, you may feel breathless and panicked when you wake up. If you do not sleep peacefully, and the body and mind do not get enough rest, it can compound stress - which can interrupt your sleep. This begins a vicious cycle of stress and sleep apnea, which can be stopped only with appropriate treatment.

Sleep Apnea and Your Dentist

Many of our patients are surprised when we ask them about their sleep. However, sleep apnea can affect your teeth too. One of the first signs of sleep apnea is teeth grinding. Dentists, especially those with specialization in sleep apnea, look for damage caused by teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth over the years can also cause inflammation and receding gums. The force applied to the teeth while grinding can make them susceptible to bacteria that cause a cavity.

Besides teeth grinding, a small jaw, redness in the throat caused by excessive snoring, and a tongue with scalloped edges are other oral health signs of sleep apnea. When the muscles around the tongue and throat relax and block the airflow, it causes you to tense your jaw and grind. When this happens, you are woken up by the need to take a breath.

Dentists usually recommend a sleep study to understand the severity and possible solution for sleep apnea. He/she will also refer you to a medical doctor who will diagnose and treat you based on your case.

Sleep apnea, though common, is very harmful. If you notice any signs of sleep apnea or if anybody tells you about your breathing stoppage in your sleep, visit a doctor immediately to receive treatment.

Call our office today (951-676-4556) to schedule your appointment with Dr. Dadseresht. We will be happy to guide you further.

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29645 Rancho California Road, #126
Temecula, CA, CA 92591

Choice Dental

Choice Dental

29645 Rancho California Road, #126
Temecula, CA, 92591

(951) 676-4556


Office Hours

MON - THU : 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI : 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT : By appointments only.

SUN : Closed