A good night’s sleep helps us stay energized throughout the day with a clear mind. There are times, however, when factors out of our control keep us away from good sleep. One of those factors could be snoring, either yours or a family members, and both can point to sleep apnea. An increasingly common medical condition that affects a person’s breathing while they try to sleep.
You might wonder: how could a dentist assist with such a medical condition? First, let’s discuss the details of sleep apnea, and then how the Sacramento dental specialists at the Marconi Dental Group can help.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is the obstruction or blockage of airflow, when the muscles in the back of the throat relax causing a closure of airway and leading to snoring. The brain then reacts to this by waking up itself to contract those muscles, opening up the airway again (this usually happens while barely conscious). In severe cases, this could happen as much as 50 times in an hour making a good night’s sleep nearly impossible.
If the airway is only partially open, then the muscles and tissues in the throat vibrate against each other creating the sound that we know as snoring.
Sleep apnea is a serious threat to a person’s health, sleep deprivation is on the lighter end, while it has also been linked to heart conditions, behavioral health and other issues.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
Two of the tell all signs that you might have sleep apnea is snoring and abrupt waking, but there are more signs you should look out for:
- Excessive fatigue during the day
- Confusion, forgetfulness, difficulty in concentrating, “brain fog”
- Irritability, frequent frustration
- Accident-prone behavior
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
Suffer from these symptoms yourself, or know someone that does? You should consult a doctor or one of the dentists at the Marconi Dental Group as soon as they can. Our practice can provide an initial diagnosis, suggest dental treatments, and provide referrals to doctors specializing in more serious cases of sleep apnea.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Once diagnosed with sleep apnea, your dentist at the Marconi Dental Group evaluates the severity of your condition. There are different treatments available for the severity of the condition. A possible treatment consists of an oral appliance specifically designed to advance the lower jaw, pulling the tongue forward while you sleep. The appliance opens the airways just enough to prevent obstruction, thereby significantly reducing snoring. It’s also less intrusive than breathing devices or surgery.
If you suspect that you or a loved one are suffering from sleep apnea, a better night’s sleep could begin with a simple phone call. Please contact the Marconi Dental Group or use our online form to schedule a consultation.
Video Overview: Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This video provides an overview of obstructive sleep apnea and the serious and dangerous complications to your overall health that can result if it is left untreated.