Is it possible that you could have sleep apnea? You or your family members may have noticed loud snoring coming from you, or you might be waking up gasping for air.
What is sleep apnea? It’s a condition that causes you to stop breathing for 10–30 seconds at a time before your body has to take a sudden breath, which can sound like gasping or snoring. This process can repeat over and over throughout each night, interrupting sleep and damaging health.
Why do we talk about this at the dentist office? Because your airway can be blocked by the position of your jaw or the tissues in your throat, such as in obstructive sleep apnea—which can be treated at our local dentist office in Brentwood. If you might have sleep apnea, call Brentwood Dental Group today for an appointment.
Sleep Apnea Complications
It’s dangerous when you repeatedly stop breathing while sleeping, because it cuts off the flow of vital oxygen. Plus, you might not remember it happening by morning. You may be waking up exhausted without knowing why.
If you understand sleep apnea symptoms and side effects, you can make a more educated guess on whether you have it and become more motivated to treat it. Sleep apnea can cause:
- Loss of Focus: Do you have trouble concentrating during the day? Sleep apnea can cause poor rest that plays havoc with creativity, memory, and will power.
- Mood Problems: Sleep disruptions can cause mood instability, irritability, and a depressed mood.
- Loud Snoring: When each apnea (breath hold) ends, it might cause a sound like a loud snore, which can disrupt sleep for others in your household.
- Falling Asleep During the Day: Fatigue could make you nod off when you’re driving or operating machinery at work.
- Migraines and Other Aches: Sleep apnea side effects often include aches, pains, muscle tremors, and headaches.
- Excess Weight: Lack of rest can disrupt hormone production, leading to overeating and weight gain. And excess fat deposits can make an already blocked airway even smaller, disrupting breathing more.
- Diabetes: In some patients, sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes seems to be linked, possibly because patients no longer receive a bodily signal that they’re full at mealtime.
- Heart Conditions: Repeated, chronic nighttime oxygen deprivation puts a dangerous load on the blood vessels and heart. This can lead to unhealthy heart rhythms, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and even death in patients with other heart issues.
- Liver Conditions: Researchers have seen connections between sleep apnea and liver problems, including liver scarring.
- Adverse Reactions: Untreated sleep apnea may cause dangerous reactions to medications, anesthesia, and surgery.
- Metabolic Syndrome: This condition is a combination of issues that include high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, along with obesity. It can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Have you seemingly gotten enough sleep but still had some of these signs and symptoms of sleep apnea? Mood problems? Extreme fatigue? Or maybe your roommates or family have told you your snoring is too loud? You may need to get a sleep study to verify if you have sleep apnea.
How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
Anyone can develop sleep apnea at any age, for a variety of reasons. You can be young or old, thin or heavy, considered healthy or unhealthy. There are two ways to be sure:
- Visit a Sleep Disorder Center: Get a sleep apnea sleep study that includes several professional sleep monitors.
- Request a Home Sleep Study: A sleep apnea study can also be performed at home with a small, portable device.
Sleep studies can discover if you have mild sleep apnea, severe sleep apnea, a variation called central sleep apnea, or another condition.
Visit Brentwood Dental Group for Your Consultation
If you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, make an appointment with our sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Wasson, for relief. We can discuss dentistry-based solutions that could give you fast relief and the ability for a full night’s rest again. Call the dental clinic now to get started.