Snoring Problems and Other Symptoms Associated with Sleep Apnea
If you snore, you may not be aware you are doing it, unless your partner complains. Some partners remain soundly asleep, others may go in the other room when it happens, and neither of you may think snoring is serious, just annoying.
But frequent and loud snoring can be one of the most important signs that you have sleep apnea. Twelve million Americans are affected by it, and up to 80 percent of them are undiagnosed. If you suspect that you may be experiencing sleep apnea, your dentist can help.
An apnea is a short pause in breathing, typically 5-30 seconds, and it can happen hundreds of times during the night. Most commonly, this occurs if you lie on your back and your tongue falls back and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen reaching the lungs. The brain reacts by trying to wake you up to breathe more deeply, but it is rare that you would actually become fully conscious or even remember what happened the next morning. Sometimes, however, you become just aware enough that you realize you should urinate, further disrupting your sleep.
When you do fully wake up, your mouth is likely to feel that it is “full of cotton” from breathing through your mouth, you probably have a sore throat, and you may suffer from a migraine or headaches during the day. Most importantly, you will feel so tired because of the lack of restorative sleep, you may barely stay awake when driving to work and lack of sleep from all causes contributes to 100,000 vehicle crashes and 1,550 deaths each year. You will also find it difficult to stay awake at work, concentrate, think clearly, and remember things.
There are other dangers for those who have sleep apnea:
- It significantly raises the risk for depression and anxiety.
- It adds to the likelihood that the patient will have cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, a heart attack, irregular heartbeat, stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
- It increases hunger and can increase obesity (sleep apnea sufferers typically already have a Body Max Index over 35).
At Beverly Hills Dentistry, we provide solutions ranging from simple oral appliances to nightguards and retainers.. Call us today for an appointment to discuss your symptoms and determine if any of the solutions are a fit for you.