Do you have trouble with snoring or sleeping? Do you wake up tired? It’s possible that you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They can occur between 5 to 70 times per hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the jaw falls back, obstructing the airway, just as the brain reaches the deepest stages of sleep. And surprisingly, your dentist can help with it!
Frequently interrupted sleep can have a huge affect on the sufferer’s quality of life. Missing just one night of deep sleep puts you in a damaged state. Over time, this can result in high blood pressure, mood disorders, depression, diabetes, cancer and weight gain. Some people with OSA may also experience night sweats and may wake up frequently during the night to urinate.
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are; loud snoring, noisy and laboured breathing and repeated short periods where breathing is interrupted by gasping or snorting.
Those who suffer from OSA will find, when sleeping, that breathing becomes harder and results in snoring as air gets forced through the partially blocked airway. Once the brain realizes breathing is a struggle, it gets out of the deepest stage of sleep. It then regains control of the jaw muscles to open the airway, keeping you breathing and alive.
Although snoring and disturbed sleep are the most common signs of OSA, there may be others. For instance, the size of your tonsils may indicate your risk for sleep apnea. Teeth imprints and indentations on the tongue are also possible indications.
Many dentists are trained in dealing with patients who have sleep apnea. Whether it be helping them rectify behaviours causing OSA or providing a solutions. For example, the treatment prescribed will depend on the severity of the case. If the case is mild, you may need to just alter an aspect of your sleeping position. If the case is a little more serious, you may need to wear a dental device. The device would be similar to a mouth guard, worn during sleep to keep the jaw correctly positioned. No harder to wear than a retainer. Either way, your dentist could be crucial to you having a great nights sleep.
Do you think you have sleep apnea and want to contact a dentist about it? You can use our UK wide listing website to find the perfect dentist for you. Just enter your location into the search bar and we’ll do the work! Check it out – Defacto Dentists