What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a form of Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) that causes someone to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and is the type we can treat in our dental office. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes obstructed during sleep and cuts off the air supply. The lack of oxygen then signals the brain to wake up to cough or choke until breathing resumes again. This cycle (known as an apnea) can occur hundreds of times per night. The sleeper might not even realize that they wake up repeatedly throughout the night.
When these interruptions continue to happen, it doesn’t allow the body to enter a deep sleep which is necessary for metabolic and memory regulation. When the body loses air, your brain forces your heart to work harder which can lead to heart strain, high blood pressure, and other heart conditions that can result in death.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
To determine if you have sleep apnea, the first step is recognizing the signs. You might experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Daytime sleepiness
- Waking up choking, gasping, or coughing
- Morning headaches
- Sore throat or dry mouth upon waking
- Concentration difficulty
- Mood changes such as irritability or depression
- High blood pressure
- Decreased libido
- Nighttime sweating
If you do notice you display any of these symptoms, we highly encourage you to talk to your physician about taking a sleep test. We can also refer you to a doctor to administer your home sleep test and diagnose you.
The Dangers of Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Although many people pass off snoring as a joke, it’s not. Snoring can have serious health consequences like an increased risk of stroke, lack of oxygen, or indicate that you have sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is the cause, you’re exposed to even more dangers. People with sleep apnea experience serious health conditions such as:
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Cognitive problems
The risks caused by cardiovascular disease are the leading cause of death in sleep apnea patients. People who have sleep apnea are not just more likely to develop these conditions, but less likely to recover from these conditions. Treating sleep apnea is the best way to reduce your increased risk of other medical complications.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment
Whether you snore at night and don’t have sleep apnea, or you’ve received a sleep apnea diagnosis from a physician, our dental practice can provide you with a treatment that prevents you from snoring and treats your sleep apnea. Before receiving snoring or sleep apnea treatment from our Southlake sleep dentist, you will need to get diagnosed first from a physician. A physician will instruct you to take a home sleep test that will give them the information they need to diagnose sleep apnea. After you receive your diagnosis, our sleep dentist can work hand in hand with your physician to determine the best treatment for you.
At StarImage Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery, we can help patients treat their snoring or sleep apnea using oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances reposition the jaw to effectively hold the airway open. As a result, the patient can breathe continuously throughout the night and stop snoring. Many patients prefer oral appliance therapy to CPAP because it’s much more comfortable and convenient.
We custom-make each oral appliance to fit each patient’s mouth so the comfort is unmatchable. After your first night of use, you will start to notice a difference in your energy, concentration, and more. With continuous use, you will no longer have to worry about the serious health complications that can occur.
If you’re ready to finally get a good night of sleep, completely snore-free, getting treatment is your first step. Contact StarImage Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery today by calling (817) 587-4566 to schedule an appointment with our sleep dentist in Southlake, TX.