Does my tongue look fat? This is not a common question but one that can be commonly asked of your dentist. People often aren’t aware of having sleep apnea but might suspect that they do if they are tired throughout the day or their partner complains about their snoring. Since the mouth is a dentist’s area of expertise, they are qualified to assess the airway and screen the risk of airway obstruction, a common cause of obstructive sleep apnea. A small mouth and a large tongue can add to the risk of airway obstruction.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in serious health consequences, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as affect the overall quality of life. By doing a simple assessment of the airway, your dentist can alert you to a potentially serious condition long before you even consider visiting a primary care doctor.
Most people view their twice-yearly visit to the dentist as little more than a teeth cleaning and check-up, but in reality, those visits are much more vital in maintaining overall health than people often realize.
Contact us if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are unable or unwilling to use a CPAP for treatment. We can discuss whether a dental appliance is a suitable treatment option for your obstructive sleep apnea. We also invite you to visit our page on Obstructive Sleep Apnea.