• How Can a Dentist Help You Sleep Better?

  • Do you wake up feeling groggy? Frequent headaches? Always feeling sleepy despite getting plenty of sleep? Sore jaw? Loud snoring? Well, these are all signs of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you do not have an adequate supply of oxygen delivered to your lungs during sleep. Without enough oxygen, the body cannot rest properly while sleeping. While you may think this is only an issue for older people, you’d be surprised how many younger people in Gresham, Fairview, Portland, Troutdale, Damascus, and the surrounding areas have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. 

    Now, how can a dentist help provide more oxygen to the lungs? We at Hood View Dental are trained to properly fit sleep guards and sleep apnea devices. If an oral apparatus is not fitted correctly then it cannot perform as it should in the most effective manner possible.

    The reasons why your body is not getting enough oxygen may be tied to the pain you are feeling throughout the day. 


    If you are grinding your teeth at night, you might be preventing yourself from intaking a sufficient amount of oxygen resulting in sleep apnea and sore jaws during the day. Teeth grinding can also lead to frequent headaches, which may in turn make it difficult to focus throughout the day on important tasks. 


    An obstruction in the airways can cause sleep apnea by preventing the body from taking in enough oxygen while sleeping. 

    An obstruction can be due to excess weight that is weighing the neck down thereby reducing the amount of space available for oxygen to enter your body. 

    It could also be due to smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages. These activities can damage the throat and reduce the flow of oxygen into the body. Alcohol consumption might relax the throat muscles too much. If the throat is too relax it might obstruct your airways. 

    Furthermore, an obstruction, like a growth, may cause a sore throat throughout the day. 

    Any type of obstruction might cause you to snore without even knowing it! Very loud snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea. 


    While you may be getting enough sleep – 7 to 9 hours for adults – the lack of oxygen might be stopping you from getting enough of the right kinds of sleep. The four stages of sleep are: 

    1. Falling asleep

    2. Light non-REM sleep

    3. Deep non-REM sleep

    4. REM sleep

    While asleep, people should go through the states 2 through 4 a few times each night – approximately 4 to 5. Each cycle can take anywhere from 70 to 120 minutes. If a lack of oxygen is preventing you from completing the cycle enough times or for enough time then you might feel groggy and tired all day long. 


    While you might not have many issues now or are able to handle the effects, there are less obvious issues that could be lurking and not become apparent until later in life. These include high blood pressure, heart problems, metabolic syndrome, liver problems, type 2 diabetes, and complications with medications. 

    Giving us a call at (503) 328-6388 is a great first step to getting to the root of your issue. Our dental professionals at Hood View Dental are well trained to notice the warning signs for sleep apnea. We can get you started on the right track to getting a better night’s rest to improve the overall quality of your life.