Sleep apnea is a medical condition that affects your ability to breathe while asleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea, your normal breathing patterns may be disrupted for 10 or more seconds many times each night. This may result in feelings of fatigue the next morning and could lead to many long-term health issues. Fortunately, there are both medical and dental treatments available.
Are You at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects both adults and children, but there are several factors that can put you at an increased risk:
- Excessive weight
- Narrowed airways (due to genetics or enlarged tonsils)
- Large neck circumference
Additionally, men are more likely to develop sleep apnea than women, and the condition most commonly affects adults over 60 years of age.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
If you suspect that you might have sleep apnea, there are several signs that could indicate a problem:
- Excessive fatigue and daytime sleepiness
- A habit of snoring loudly
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Headaches in the morning
- Concentration and attention difficulties
- Waking abruptly and feeling short of breath
- Waking with a dry mouth or sore throat
Your partner may also report that you stop breathing during your sleep throughout the night - often a telltale sign of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your physician can prescribe the best possible treatment. For many people, this involves the use of a CPAP machine, which delivers air pressure via a special mask placed over your nose. This works to keep your airways open while you sleep.
Dental treatment options might also be able to help. Adjustable airway pressure devices and custom oral appliances are becoming more popular than ever to treat sleep apnea. These appliances will help to keep your throat open during sleep.
Call Complete Dental today to make an appointment and discuss your sleep apnea concerns.