Sleep apnea is a disorder in which you pause your breathing while asleep. This condition affects millions of adults in the United States and even children. There are several possible reasons for these pauses depending on the type of sleep apnea a person has:
Obstructive sleep apnea is when the muscles in your throat do not keep your airway open while you are sleeping. This is the most common culprit when it comes to sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea occurs when the issue lies with your brain not doing a good job of controlling your breathing while you are asleep.
Sometimes, people can have a combination of both types of sleep apnea, though this is rare.
It is important to properly diagnose sleep apnea — and treat it as soon as you realize or suspect you may have it. Sleep apnea is a condition that is much more than an inconvenience for you and your partner. It can have life-threatening consequences if left unchecked.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
Waking after a full night of sleep and not feeling well-rested is one sign that you might have sleep apnea. Your partner may tell you that you chronically snore while sleeping, which could also indicate that you suffer from the disorder. They might also share that you gasp for breath at night. It is also possible that you will wake yourself up multiple times during the night, finding yourself short of breath. This is a common signal that you may have sleep apnea.
Your dentist may be among the first people to help you realize that you could have sleep apnea. Bursitis, or teeth grinding, is a sign of sleep apnea, so we will spot wear and tear on the surface of your teeth early on and recommend testing and treatment options.
There are a few factors that could increase the risk of your likelihood of sleep apnea, such as having a small upper airway, a large tongue, the type of bite you have, being overweight, being older than 40, and possibly even genetics. You may be more likely to experience sleep apnea if it is something at least one of your parents also deals with.
Why You Should Address Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is more than simply not getting the rest you need to be productive and feel good, though that certainly should factor in when you think about why you should seek out help with the condition.
Some serious health risks that can accompany sleep apnea and other sleep disorders include:
Heart attack and other heart-related issues, including cardiac arrhythmia
Loss of memory
Sleepy or distracted driving, which could put your life and the lives of passengers or other drivers at risk.
Discovering whether you have sleep apnea will depend on testing, which could include a sleep study. Though this may take time to officially diagnose, it is essential for your health and happiness to do so. You need good and restful sleep to be as successful in your daily life as possible. Some treatment options include surgery to remove tissue that blocks airways, lifestyle changes like losing weight or avoiding alcohol and smoking, or a CPAP machine with a mask that delivers a continuous flow of air to you during your sleep, but dentist offices like Centerburg Dental can help with other possible options to address your sleep apnea.
How Can Centerburg Dental Help?
Some people might be surprised to learn that in addition to helping people realize that they might be dealing with sleep apnea, your dentist can also help you address sleep apnea.
At Centerburg Dental, we can help curb sleep apnea through the use of oral appliance therapy. With a customized oral appliance for sleep apnea, we can help reposition your upper and lower jaw and open your airways to help you breathe better while you are sleeping. Other oral appliances help hold your tongue if that is the cause behind your sleep apnea. You wear your oral appliance much like any other mouthguard and care for it by brushing it before and after each use. Oral appliances are simple, convenient, portable, and easy to use, which is why many people with sleep apnea prefer them to other options. Oral appliance therapy works best for individuals with milder cases of sleep apnea.
We will work with your insurance plan so that you can know what to expect when it comes to treating your sleep apnea, including what your expected contribution might be. Overall, we want to make sure that your sleep apnea is taken care of before you have to face much more serious consequences than a lost night of sleep.
If you are interested in learning more about your options in addressing sleep apnea or sleep apnea dentistry in general, contact us at (740) 481-4156.
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What a great team! From the moment you walk in you feel comfortable and are greeted with a “Hello” and a smile. When they are working on your teeth, they take their time to explain what they are doing. I highly recommend this office and tell people about the awesome team they have! -James S.
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When we opened in 2016, it was our mission to serve our community with friendly, comfortable, convenient care. Now, we are continually committed to providing our families the very best dental services. With a small-town feel and cutting-edge technology, we combine personalized service and the most effective treatment possible.