Have you been told that you snore? Do you have a bed partner that wakes up gasping for air several times a night? While these occurrences can be frustrating and certainly disrupt a good night’s sleep, they are also warning signs of sleep apnea. An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. It is a serious sleep disorder that needs to be treated. If left alone, sleep apnea can lead to threats to your overall health such as high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation and stroke. On a daily basis, patients may suffer from the following:
- Severe morning headaches
- Difficulties focusing
- Memory issues
- Daytime Fatigue
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a condition that impacts your airway while you sleep. The disorder is characterized by several episodes of brief pauses in breathing throughout the night. This results in lack of oxygen to the brain, which causes many sleep apnea sufferers to suddenly wake up gasping for air. Patients often snore loudly and may even sound like they are choking during these sleep apnea episodes – it is the body’s way of trying to regain a normal breathing pattern again.
How Can a Dentist Help?
As previously mentioned, sleep apnea is strongly linked to the airway. By having the patient wear a special mouth guard while they sleep, we can gently adjust their jaw position in a way that prevents snoring and air obstruction. Oral appliances for sleep apnea can be perfect for traveling or for patients who are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine.
At Gainesville Dental Group, we have three experienced and highly trained dentists who can provide effective treatment for sleep apnea and snoring. In fact, this is one of our specialties. If you or your partner is not getting a good night’s sleep due to snoring or sleep apnea symptoms, please call. There’s more at risk than your quality of sleep!
Posted on behalf of Gainesville Dental Group