Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the airways are partially or totally obstructed. The collapse of the airways doesn’t allow air to reach the lungs and results in several seconds to a minute of not breathing. Then the body wakes itself to catch its breath, resulting in exhaustion and other negative side effects. It’s not just what happens after the sleep apnea episode, however – the problem, if severe enough, could be fatal. Get sleep apnea treatment from your Red Bank dentist.
1. You could have sleep apnea and not even know it.
Sleep apnea is usually associated with chronic, loud snoring. Even irregular episodes of light snoring could indicate a problem with sleep apnea. The problem is easily misdiagnosed as anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, or insomnia. A sleep study can let you know for sure, but your Red Bank dentist can also examine your mouth and airways to determine whether you would benefit from sleep apnea treatment.
2. Snoring is not the only symptom of sleep apnea.
Snoring following by gasping and choking sounds is a noticeable symptom of sleep apnea – maybe not for the sufferer, but certainly for their bedfellow. Excessive sleepiness is another sign. The exhaustion may be baffling if you aren’t even aware that you’ve been waking up at night. Mood swings, dry mouth, and headaches may also indicate sleep apnea.
3. There are many potential causes of sleep apnea.
Sleep studies have found that large tonsils, overbites, and recessed chins (often hereditary characteristics) could lead to a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea. While middle age is often when sleep apnea strikes, even some children develop sleep apnea. Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea, with some experts believing that obese individuals have extra tissue in the mouth and throat. Having narrow airways, a thick neck circumference, large tonsils, smoking, alcohol, and nasal congestion can all contribute to sleep apnea.
4. Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health complications.
Other than stealing sleep and restfulness from you, sleep apnea also increases a person’s risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, diabetes, and stroke. And any of these complications can be fatal.
5. There is more than one type of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, but central sleep apnea is also a possible diagnosis. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles are obstructed during sleep. Central sleep apnea is the result of a misfire between your brain and muscles and the right signals are not sent out to control breathing. If the two conditions occur at the same time, it is diagnosed as complex sleep apnea syndrome.
6. Your Red Bank dentist offers sleep apnea treatment.
An oral appliance is an effective and simple therapy for managing the symptoms of sleep apnea. The mouthpiece is worn like a mouth guard or retainer, but works to keep the airway open by keeping the tongue and jaw forward. Sleep apnea is easily diagnosed and managed when you seek treatment. Visit Dr. Carole Sherrod Jewell at Red Bank Dentistry in Red Bank, NJ, and you will experience the life-changing side effect of sleeping well.