Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that can have a large impact on your overall health. You may think you need to see your general doctor to treat this issue, but your dentist can help you as well. Since dentists are trained in the mouth and the jaw, it can be helpful to speak with them about their take on sleep apnea.
Many warning signs come with sleep apnea, but some patients fail to see them. While you can wait for your next appointment to discuss these with your dentist, why not review these symptoms now? Keep reading to see what our dentist has to say about the warning signs of sleep apnea and when you should seek professional help.
Sleep apnea warning signs
Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing during sleep. This disorder can become serious since you are not supplying oxygen to your body. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that sleep apnea now affects 25 million Americans. The American Journal of Epidemiology found that 26 percent of adults between 30 and 70 suffer from the disorder.
Understand the warning signs of sleep apnea can help you take control of your body before the condition causes lasting problems.
Pauses in breathing
A dentist will often point out that a person with sleep apnea may have pauses in their breathing throughout the night. Sleep apnea typically causes a person to stop breathing while they are asleep which can be dangerous to the lungs, the brain and the heart.
Choking or gasping
Another sign that you have sleep apnea is if you choke or gasp for air while you are asleep. This typically may wake you up and cause a disturbance in the middle of the night.
Feeling drowsy or lethargic can be a warning sign of this disruptive sleep disorder since you may not be sleeping peacefully. Your body is not getting the proper amount of oxygen and rest to recover for the next day.
Frequent or loud snoring
Snoring is not always a sure sign of sleep apnea, but it may indicate a problem with breathing during sleep. The throat muscles relax and prevent air from entering your body.
When your breathing is frequently disrupted, your body is not getting enough oxygen in the bloodstream. As a result, you may develop headaches from a lack of proper rest or low oxygen levels. This headache may come with sensitivity to light or sound.
Speak to a dentist to get better sleep
If you suffer from one or more of these warning signs, it best that you speak with a dentist who understands sleep apnea. They can confirm that your symptoms match this disorder and then suggest a way to treat it. Some methods include wearing a type of mouthguard that opens the airways or using a CPAP machine to provide your body with more oxygen.
Call our office to work with a dentist who can help you manage your sleep apnea. Start sleeping peacefully and waking up feeling ready to take on the day.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea.
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