Two common sleep problems - sleep apnea and TMJ - may be spotted by your dentist. While sleep apnea doesn’t necessarily affect your teeth, it may leave signs in your mouth that your dentist can spot. A variety of health problems are linked to sleep apnea including depression and heart disease.
Unlike sleep apnea, TMJ or grinding teeth at night can be very harmful to your oral health. If patients have been told they grind their teeth they may benefit from a custom night guard to sleep with.
For both cases of sleep apnea and teeth grinding your dentist may refer you to a specialist. Since many people see their dentist more than their primary care doctor it is a good idea to be thorough when your dentist asks you about your medical history. This way they can keep your body AND your teeth healthy.