Sleep apnea is a condition that affects the sleep-wake cycle. In sleep apnea, breathing stops for brief periods during sleep. These pauses in breathing can occur between 5 to 30 times each hour. Sleep apnea is very common, affecting over 18 million Americans. It affects people of all ages, including children.
Here are the common symptoms of sleep apnea:
When you fall asleep, the relaxed muscles in your throat and tongue collapse and block the airway; this can cause snoring, restless sleep, and even gasping for breath that wakes you up throughout the night. The more severe the case, the more likely these symptoms will wake you. In extreme cases, this may even cause you to stop breathing altogether for a short time. This is very dangerous and should not be taken lightly. If you think that you may have sleep apnea and are having trouble sleeping at night, you should schedule a visit with your sleep specialist and dentist as soon as possible.
Loud snoring is an annoying problem that affects many couples, especially men. While it might be cute when a baby does it, it’s a different story when an adult snores. The noise can be so loud that it disturbs the sleep of those around you. It can also cause you or someone else to get injured from heavy breathing while asleep. If you or someone you’re sleeping with snores loudly and regularly, consider seeing a sleep apnea specialist for a diagnosis. They can provide treatment options to help you and your sleep partner get some quality rest.
Interrupted breathing during sleep can occur hundreds of times during the night in patients suffering from sleep apnea. Other signs include waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, struggling to concentrate during the day, and feeling unrefreshed from sleep. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist to discuss the treatment for sleep apnea. Some treatment options may include jaw repositioning devices, continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP), oral appliance therapy, and surgery. Your dentist will guide you to the option best suited for your needs.
When sleep apnea occurs, the tongue and lower jaw fall backward into the airway, causing a complete blockage. This blockage prevents oxygen from reaching the brain during sleep. When the sleeper awakes with a loud gasp or snort to clear their air passage -- that’s an awakening.
Many people with untreated sleep apnea experience hundreds of these disruptions in sleep every night! They might not remember any of them - but their partner might.
Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night, so they never reach the deep levels of sleep where the body repairs and heals itself. Lack of adequate rest means your body has less energy to fight inflammation or sickness. As a result, you may have more frequent morning headaches.
There are many symptoms that may be caused by sleep apnea, including memory problems. Not being able to remember something or being absent-minded may be a sign that you have sleep apnea.
Visit Beautiful Dentistry at 2125 E Warner Rd #101, Tempe, AZ 85284, or call us at (480) 831-1700 to learn more about sleep apnea.