The connection between your dentist and cavity treatments is pretty obvious. Cavities can be the most familiar – and common – dental problem that people face. However, when you see your dentist for a checkup, you receive protection from more than just tooth decay. General dentistry is concerned with your whole oral health, not just the condition of your teeth. You may be surprised by what your dentist can treat. Did you know that sleep apnea can be addressed by your dentist? Issues with TMD and teeth grinding can also be addressed.

1. Sleep Apnea

Do not mistake sleep apnea for simple snoring – people with sleep apnea do tend to snore, but the condition also involves a prolonged loss of air while you sleep. In order to start breathing, a person’s body has to “wake up” and clear their airways. This disrupts the sleep cycle, which adversely impacts your ability to rest. Sufferers can feel groggy and irritable, and may have trouble staying awake during the day. It also raises your risk for serious heart conditions, and can cause problems with hypertension.

2. Bruxism And TMD

Bruxism and TMD are often related, as bruxism – repeated teeth grinding – can be a cause of TMD. TMD generally refers to problems with your jaw joints, which can make it difficult to speak and chew. It can also leave you with frequent pain in your face, neck, and head. In addition to TMD, bruxism can cause serious damage to your teeth.

3. Oral Cancer

At a checkup, your dentist can perform a thorough oral cancer screening. Your mouth will be thoroughly inspected for any possible indicators that something is wrong. Your dentist can also discuss your overall health, and listen for any changes to your well-being that might indicate that something is wrong.