What is Sleep Apnea?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea affects around 18 million people in America. Sleep apnea creates pauses in breathing during an individual’s nightly sleep. These pauses vary in length, some lasting for a few short seconds and others lasting minutes at a time. These episodes may happen several times within an hour. The constant pausing and restarting of breathing could be dangerous and should be treated by a professional. Some of the more common symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring and a lethargic feeling, regardless of the amount of sleep you get at night.
Sleep apnea should not go untreated. If you are experiencing these or any other symptoms of sleep apnea, we are here to help. Schedule a consultation with one of our professionals at Revive Dental and Implant Center and together, we can develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three common types of sleep apnea. The first is obstructive sleep apnea which occurs with the relaxation of throat muscles. Central sleep apnea transpires when the brain fails to properly communicate with the muscles in charge of breathing. Complex apnea syndrome is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
The differing forms of sleep apnea have specific risk factors that increase the likelihood that an individual may develop sleep apnea. Being overweight, having frequently congested nasal passages, and having a family background in sleep apnea are some of the indicators that a person is at risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Advanced age, heart complications, and prior stroke are indicators of central sleep apnea risk.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Bruxism, more commonly known as “teeth grinding” is considered a common initial sign of sleep apnea. This is of particular interest to our team as constant teeth grinding can cause cavities, inflammation, and can lead to gums receding. Obstruction of teeth caused by grinding boosts the opportunity for harmful bacteria to grow in the mouth, which could potentially cause other dental problems.
Other potential signs of sleep apnea include a jaw that is smaller than average, a red-colored throat, and a scalloped edged tongue. If left untreated, sleep apnea could cause heart problems, troubles with the liver, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance. Sleep apnea should be treated to avoid potential issues during surgical procedures and with medications.
Sleep Apnea and Dental Care
Our team will make every effort to support your physicians in the proper diagnosis of sleep apnea if the evidence supports that choice. When our professionals notice oral symptoms of sleep apnea, we may encourage you to have a sleep study done. If you grind your teeth at night, we may suggest that you wear an overnight mouthguard to protect your teeth from any damage. In addition, we will continue to monitor periodontal disease, dry mouth, and other common oral issues that are also strong indicators of sleep apnea.
Though sleep apnea is a serious ailment, there are ways to treat the condition successfully. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea or you have already received a diagnosis, our team can ensure you are receiving the best care. To schedule your appointment today call Revive Dental and Implant Center at (304) 467-4265.