Daytime Sleepiness & Narcolepsy Specialist

Doueck Dental & Sleep Medicine

Cosmetic Dentistry & Dental Sleep Medicine located in Brooklyn, NY

Narcolepsy makes you feel excessively sleepy and can even trigger hallucinations and loss of muscle control. Medication can help control your symptoms, but the treatment can affect your oral health and dental care. With the help of Doueck Dental & Sleep Medicine, you can maintain a bright smile even when you’re treating narcolepsy. Make an appointment by calling the office in Brooklyn, New York City, or by using the online booking agent.

Daytime Sleepiness & Narcolepsy Q & A

Doueck Dental & Sleep Medicine

How does narcolepsy affect my oral health?

People with narcolepsy often clench their jaw and grind their teeth as they sleep. When you have narcolepsy, it’s also more likely that you fall asleep without properly brushing, which encourages decay.

Medication can prevent the symptoms of narcolepsy from interfering with your daily function and overall health. But some medications may be detrimental to your teeth because they cause reduced production of saliva and possibly an increase in oral fungus.

It’s important to inform your dentist if you have narcolepsy in case some of your symptoms or treatments can affect your dental visits. For instance, the team will be prepared if you should experience a sudden sleep attack during treatment or if you go into cataplexy -- sudden loss of muscle control of your face. Some narcolepsy drugs may also preclude the use of certain anesthetics during treatment.  

How is narcolepsy diagnosed?

It’s estimated that one in 2,000 people worldwide suffers from narcolepsy. You may benefit from seeing a specialist if you have the following complaints:

  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Don’t feel rested after a long night’s sleep
  • Experience unexplained muscle weakening or paralysis of your knees or mouth
  • Have vivid dreams and hallucinations, especially when falling asleep or upon awakening
  • Fall asleep relatively easily, but awaken often

In some cases, your extreme sleepiness that you assume to be narcolepsy is actually due to sleep apnea, in which your airway is restricted as you sleep, leading to multiple awakenings every night. This can leave you feeling extremely tired, so you fall asleep easily, suffer from extreme sleepiness and fatigue, and feel unsatisfied even after getting a decent amount of sleep.

How can a dentist help with sleep apnea?

If sleep apnea is the cause of your narcoleptic tendencies, a custom-made oral device may be the answer. The team at Doueck Dental & Sleep Medicine has years of experience in choosing and customizing the right device for your specific needs. The oral device is often used instead of CPAP — a continuous positive airway pressure machine. Oral devices tend to be more convenient and lead to better adherence, so you actually experience an improvement in your sleep apnea symptoms and reduce or eliminate daytime sleepiness.