Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects many Americans. Someone who has sleep apnea is disrupted during the night by irregular breathing. People who have sleep apnea often snore or have breathing cessation during the night. Sleep apnea is particularly common in those over age 40.
Two types of sleep apnea include obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
• Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when throat muscles simply relax. This is the most common form of sleep apnea.
• Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Do you think you might have sleep apnea? The following is a list of symptoms that may indicate whether a person suffers from sleep apnea or just simply compromised sleeping habits.
• Excessive daytime sleepiness
• Loud snoring
• Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
• Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath
• Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
• Morning headaches
• Difficulty staying asleep during the night
• Attention problems
All symptoms are not equally serious. People experiencing the following symptoms should seek medical attention:
• Snoring loud enough to disturb the sleep of others or yourself
• Shortness of breath that awakens you from sleep
• Intermittent pauses in your breathing during sleep
• Excessive daytime drowsiness, which may cause you to fall asleep while you’re working, watching television, or even driving
Sleep apnea is treatable through oral appliances, lifestyle changes, home remedies, and alternative medicinal methods.
Many dentists treat sleep apnea in their office through oral appliances that shift and support the jaw from collapsing. In particularly severe cases, dentists treat sleep apnea through upper airway surgery. This method is only used when other methods have proven unsuccessful.
If you experience symptoms listed above and think you may have sleep apnea, speak with your dentist about treatment options today.
Information via Mayo Clinic and American Dental Association