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Sleep Apnea


Woman covering ears while husband snoresSleep apnea is a common disorder that causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow while you are sleeping. Sleep apnea can be a potentially dangerous disorder, in which your breathing uncontrollably stops and starts. Our team at Rush Creek Dentistry is familiar with the oral symptoms of patients who suffer from sleep apnea, a dental exam could potentially lead to a diagnosis and a recommendation for treatment.

What Are The Types Of Sleep Apnea?


There are three kinds of sleep apnea(SA): obstructive, central, and complex sleep apnea. Obstructive SA is the most common form, this one occurs when your throat muscles relax and prevent airflow while you sleep. Central SA focuses on the brain and occurs when it does not send proper signals to your muscles that control your breathing while you sleep. Complex SA syndrome is a combination of the previous two types.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?


The symptoms of the different types of sleep apnea have a lot of overlap. You may snore loudly and wake up feeling tired. You might also wake up with a dry mouth and a headache. If you experience insomnia or hypersomnia, it may be an effect of sleep apnea. Insomnia means that you may have difficulty falling asleep at night, while hypersomnia means that you may feel excessively sleepy during the day. Sleep apnea can even cause irritability and difficulty paying attention while you are awake.

If there is another person who can observe your sleep and they notice you gasping for air in your sleep, you may have sleep apnea. If they notice an episode in which you stop breathing during your sleep, then it is more than likely that you suffer from sleep apnea.

Loud snoring could be an indication of a potentially serious problem. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. For this reason, it is important to consult your doctor if you think you may have sleep apnea.

What Are The Complications Caused By Sleep Apnea?


According to sleepapnea.org, thirty million adults in the United States are struggling with sleep apnea. However more than eighty percent of them do not know they have the condition.

Complications related to and caused by sleep apnea include fatigue, heart problems, and even diabetes. Sleep apnea can make normal restorative sleep impossible causing severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability. Sleep apnea can stress the cardiovascular system causing sudden drops in blood oxygen levels, increasing your blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea may also increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heartbeats. People with sleep apnea are more likely to have an abnormal liver function.

What Treatments Are Available For Sleep Apnea?


If you have a mild case of sleep apnea your doctor may only recommend a lifestyle change to help manage your symptoms. Losing weight or quitting smoking are both habits that can be managed to help your sleep apnea. If this is not enough, your doctor will recommend oral appliances that can open your airway. A CPAP machine will help anyone who suffers from severe sleep apnea by providing you with air through a mask while you sleep. In order to find the best treatment plan for you, consult with our dental professionals at Rush Creek Dentistry. Start improving your quality of life now by dialing 682-277-0535.

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