Sleep apnea is a very detrimental condition that can easily disrupt your energy levels, your ability to sleep, and even cause harm to your heart. Sleep apnea may not seem like a condition a dentist might treat. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of those that suffer from sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it.
So what are the signs of sleep apnea? What are the ways Oak Hill Dentistry can help to provide a better night’s sleep and better overall health?
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea appears to be a simple condition: the body has trouble taking in the proper amount of air during sleep. The symptoms, unfortunately, are varied and can make life during sunlight hours very difficult. Some of these symptoms include:
- Waking up with a painful headache
- Difficulty staying awake during the day, no matter how much time is spent sleeping
- Difficulty falling asleep at night due to repeatedly waking up
- High blood pressure
- Dry mouth
There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed apnea. Central sleep apnea is less common, caused by the brain failing to send signals to the muscles to inhale during sleep.
The most common is obstructive sleep apnea. When the muscles that support the back of the throat relax, the airway closes and blocks breathing. The brain realizes that breathing has stopped, causing gasping, choking, and loud snoring. This pattern can repeat as often as thirty times in an hour in severe cases.
Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of the two and may require a combination of treatments.
Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
The dangers of sleep apnea go above and beyond snoring. As scary as the idea of failing to breathe more than thirty times in an hour may sound, sleep apnea can lead to many life-threatening conditions. Some of these include stroke, heart attacks, increased obesity from lowered metabolism, and an increased chance of cognitive impairment later in life.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Chances are good that you have heard about CPAP machines that force air into the lungs to aid in nighttime breathing. Some of our patients have admitted to feeling uncomfortable with the masks and hoses. Fortunately, we offer an alternative that may feel more natural.
After taking a mold of your teeth, we can create a custom oral appliance that you wear like an athletic mouthguard while you sleep. This appliance pushes the lower jaw forward far enough that the tongue and the rear of the airway are raised and naturally kept open.
It takes little time to get used to the feeling of wearing it, and while you may experience a bit of jaw discomfort in those first mornings, this will fade. Compared to the costs of CPAP machines and replacement supplies, an oral appliance is a much cheaper option.
Visit Oak Hills Dentistry in Logan, Utah for Sleep Apnea Relief
Don’t suffer from constant morning headaches and drowsiness when you have access to affordable sleep apnea treatments. Give our office a call and schedule a consultation to find out if an oral appliance is a good solution. Not only will your sleep improve, but your partner will also appreciate the decrease in snoring and worry!