Our team at Cleary Dental is familiar with the oral symptoms of patients who suffer from sleep apnea. A dental exam at our office could potentially lead to a diagnosis and a recommendation for treatment. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow while you are sleeping. If you have sleep apnea, it can be a potentially dangerous disorder, in which your breathing uncontrollably stops and starts.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three kinds of sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea it is either obstructive, central, or complex sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. This occurs when your throat relaxes during your sleep and dangerously prevents your airflow. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send proper signals to your throat muscles that keep you breathing while you sleep. Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Related Complications
If you have sleep apnea you are at risk of developing conditions like fatigue, heart problems, and even diabetes. If you have sleep apnea it is impossible for you to enjoy normal restorative sleep causing severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability. Sleep apnea can stress the cardiovascular system and cause sudden drops in blood oxygen levels and increase your blood pressure. Therefore, if you have obstructive sleep apnea your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and an abnormal heartbeat will increase.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and wake up feeling tired. You might also wake up with a dry mouth and a headache. You may also experience insomnia or hypersomnia as a side effect of your sleep apnea disorder. Insomnia means that you may have difficulty falling asleep at night, while hypersomnia means that you may feel excessively sleepy during the day. Sleep apnea may cause you to be irritable and have difficulty paying attention while you are awake. If there is another person who can observe your sleep and they notice you gasping for air in your sleep, you may have sleep apnea. If they notice an episode in which you stop breathing during your sleep, then you may suffer from sleep apnea. Loud snoring could be an indication of a potentially serious problem. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, so you will need to consult your doctor if you think you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
For a mild case of sleep apnea, your doctor may only recommend a lifestyle change to help manage your symptoms. You can try to manage your sleep apnea by losing weight or quitting smoking. If this is not enough, your doctor will recommend using an oral appliance that will help you while you sleep by opening your airway. A CPAP machine will help anyone who suffers from severe sleep apnea by keeping your airway open, allowing you to breathe regularly, while you sleep with air coming through a mask.
If you suffer from sleep apnea the best treatment plan is waiting for you at Cleary Dental. Improving your quality of sleep, seek help from one of our dental professionals now by calling (856) 528-8607.