Dentists and physicians alike know that the health of our mouths, teeth, gums, and airways can all play a large role in the overall health of our bodies. Our bodies are truly complex things and two parts that may seem to be completely unrelated may actually be VERY related. Take for example our dental health and the health of our hearts and cardiovascular system. While the two may not seem to have any true or direct connection to each other, the fact is that poor dental health can negatively impact our bodies, especially when looking at the cardiovascular system.
For example, a patient that has severe snoring at night and/or sleep apnea is at a higher risk of a condition known as metabolic syndrome according to a recent study published in the journal, SLEEP. Metabolic syndrome occurs when patients suffer from three of the five risk factors for stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, which include low HDL levels, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, and excess abdominal fat. Studies have shown that patients with sleep apnea, along with those who snore excessively, are at a greater risk for having these symptoms. Most notably is the fact that patients who wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed have a 70 percent higher chance of having these risk factors.
If snoring is ruining your sleep at night or if you have common symptoms of sleep apnea, you will want to consult with a dentist who will be able to work with you and other medical practitioners to diagnose you and treat your symptoms. Sleep apnea treatment will ensure that you are breathing properly at night and that you are not a higher risk of being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Remember that our body systems are all connected somehow no matter how unlikely it may seem.