Does your partner complain of loud snoring? Do you often wake up suddenly with shortness of breath? If this sounds familiar, you may be struggling with sleep apnea.
Some research suggests thatsuffer from sleep apnea, with many of these cases going undiagnosed. But what is sleep apnea? What are the symptoms, and what treatment options are available?
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night. The term “” means a temporary lapse in breathing that lasts for a minimum of 10 seconds. This condition not only contributes to irregular sleeping habits and oxygen deprivation, but also can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and memory and mood issues.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when soft tissue collapses at the back of the throat, obstructing your airway. It’s estimated that as many asof moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea cases go undiagnosed.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Think you or your partner might have sleep apnea? There are many symptoms of sleep apnea that you or your partner may observe. Signs of this condition include:
- Loud snoring
- Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep, witnessed by another person
- Waking up suddenly with shortness of breath
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Sleepiness during the day
- Difficulty paying attention
There are alsothat may increase the likelihood that you suffer from sleep apnea, including:
- A narrow airway and/or thick neck
- Family history
- Drug or alcohol use
- Problems breathing through your nose
In general, sufferers of sleep apnea also tend to be older and male.
Keep in mind that signs and symptoms of sleep apnea don’t automatically mean you have the condition. The only way to know for sure if you or your partner suffer from sleep apnea is to get the professional medical opinion of a dentist.
That’s one reason why scheduling regular appointments every six months at the dentist is such a great idea. If you start to suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnea or any other dental condition, such as TMJ disorder or periodontal disease, you’ll already have an appointment on the books to ask our dentists your questions.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Did you know that you can seek treatment for sleep apnea at the dentist? At Lake Michigan Dental, our sleep apnea dentists can order a sleep study to determine if you may be one of the millions of Americans suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea.
If we find evidence of this condition, we can create a custom oral appliance for you to wear while you sleep. Sleep apnea devices hold your jaws in place and clear your upper airway. They can help you breathe and sleep better through the night.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Appointment Today
If you suspect you or your partner has sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids, MI, sleep apnea dentists as soon as possible. Call Lake Michigan Dental at (616) 453-8211, or contact us online today.
This blog post has been updated.