Obstructive sleep apnea can be a serious sleep condition. It causes an interruption in your natural breathing pattern while you sleep.
The most common form of this disorder is obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when the throat muscles relax and obstruct your air passage during sleep. Your health suffers from a lack of oxygen throughout the night. Snoring is a clear indication of sleep apnea.
Chronic sleep apnea can take years away from your life, reducing your life expectancy by as much as 7-10 years. A lack of sleep not only leads to lower energy levels, lower moods, and shortened attention spans, it can also lead to more health complications.
A sleep apnea dentist, like Dr. Richard Chang from Evergreen Dental Care, can help you learn more about your condition and offer solutions that can help you sleep better at night.
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when your throat muscles unwind too much to allow regular breathing to continue.
As the muscles relax, your air passage narrows, and your breathing is briefly interrupted. This causes a reduction in your blood oxygen levels and an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide. Your brain detects the interruption in your breathing and wakes you from your sleep.
During this moment, you may be short of breath or make a choking sound as your body tries to start breathing again. You may or may not be conscious of what is happening; however, this interruption in your breathing pattern can happen multiple times throughout the night.
When you wake up in the morning, you may not realize what your body has gone through. However, you will likely feel groggy, tired, and feel like you didn’t get a good night’s sleep.
Chronic snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea, especially loud snoring; however, other frequent symptoms are:
Certain medical conditions can put you at greater risk for developing sleep apnea. These include:
If you’ve experienced any of the mentioned symptoms, it’s time to seek guidance from a medical professional to understand more about your condition. Once your doctor makes a diagnosis, the appropriate treatment can be offered to help you get a better night’s rest.
Making lifestyle changes may be necessary to treat your sleep apnea. These changes may include trying out a different sleep position, losing weight, and reducing stress. However, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to treat your condition.
Treatments are available, including mouthpieces that hold your jaw in place and allow your upper airway passage to fully open. Oral Appliance Therapy is also another effective solution that has been developed by dentists. It looks similar to a dental retainer; however, its primary purpose is to prevent your airway from narrowing.
Don’t wait any longer. Take this quick self-assessment and determine if you are at risk for sleep apnea and contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment with a sleep apnea dentist.
Evergreen Dental Care
937 E Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801