Dentistry & Sleep Disturbance
In January, I traveled to San Antonio, Texas for a course dealing with sleep disturbance and its relationship to sleep bruxism (grinding of the teeth). This 2 day course was full of new and valuable information about what dentists can do to help patients with sleep disturbance issues, from snoring to sleep apnea. We learned about the process of falling asleep, how sleep disorders can impact a patient’s health, and different treatments the dental provider can utilize to helpalleviate some of these problems. While sleep disturbances have varied underlying causes, many requiring medical care, dentists can provide help to patients, usually by fashioning oral appliances to advance the lower jaw, thus increasing airway space. This is an area of dentistry I find very interesting, and I plan to continue to expand my knowledge in this area.