September 5, 2018
Have you been told that you snore loudly when you sleep? Do you find yourself tired and lethargic throughout the day? If so, your local sleep dentistry specialist says you may have sleep apnea, a serious condition that affects over 22 million Americans. As you read on, you’ll learn more about the condition and why it’s important to receive sleep apnea therapy quickly.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is the momentary pausing of your breathing that happens repeatedly throughout the night. As a protection mechanism, your brain sends a signal that awakens you so breathing can be reinitiated. Because this happens repeatedly throughout the night, you’re left feeling like you haven’t received adequate rest the next day.
The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is the result of the muscles in your throat collapsing while you sleep, which limits the space for air to pass through.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Sleep Apnea
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, it’s important to be tested. Your sleep dentistry specialist can then provide you with the care you need to fully recover.
Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t procrastinate about seeking help:
- High Blood Pressure – Studies show that people who don’t get adequate sleep are more susceptible to developing high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Heart Disease – Another downside of sleep apnea is that you have a greater chance of developing heart disease, and you are more vulnerable to having a heart attack.
- Type 2 Diabetes – Statistics show that of the people who have type 2 diabetes, 80% of them have OSA. While research is still being done on the exact correlation between the two, there is evidence that suggests the two conditions affect each other.
- Weight Gain – Gaining weight may seem harmless, but it can actually contribute to health problems – one of them being OSA. A few extra pounds can cause the muscles in your neck and throat to collapse while you sleep and obstruct your airway. Then, sleep apnea can make it more difficult to lose the weight.
- Car Accidents – Untreated sleep apnea leads to daytime grogginess. Thus, if you’re behind the wheel of a car, you could be putting yourself and other drivers at risk of an accident.
There is Help Available
To get the sleep you need, your dentist may provide you with a CPAP (controlled positive airway pressure) machine, an oral appliance or a combination of the two. The former will force air into your throat while you sleep. However, an oral appliance will help to position your jaw so that the muscles in your throat don’t become too relaxed while you’re sleeping.
By taking action, you’ll be able to enjoy the full benefits of getting a good night’s sleep, which includes better overall wellness. Reach out to your dentist to schedule a visit for sleep apnea treatment today.
About the Author
Dr. Pamela West has been providing sleep apnea treatment for more than five years. Since graduating from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, she has received advanced training from some of the top sleep dentists in the country. A member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. West practices at iSleep Solutions, and she can be reached for more information through her website.
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