You may think that snoring is just a normal part of sleeping. But it could be a sign of further problems. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder and snoring is one of the main signs. Dr. William Huckin, a dentist in Dallas, TX, explains the signs to watch out for to see if you have sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that occurs when you sleep. During sleep, the soft tissues in the back of the mouth, including the tongue, collapse. This blocks your airway and causes you to have a restricted blood oxygen level. Usually, a snore or a large gasp of air will be needed to get back regular airflow. This happens multiple times throughout the night.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
One of the most common signs of sleep apnea is snoring. A loud snore will happen as your body tries to open the airway back up properly. You may also find yourself waking up gasping for air throughout the night. Because of these constant wakeups, whether you fully realize they’re happening or not, you may find yourself tired throughout the day, even if you thought you got enough sleep.
The lack of oxygen can also take its toll on you. You may wake up with headaches more frequently. A lack of sleep can overall make you more irritable throughout the day. It can be hard to stay awake while driving and your performance can suffer at work or school. Waking up with a dry mouth and sore throat from gasping is common.
Long-Term Sleep Apnea Impact
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you want to make sure you get seen immediately. The long-term impacts of sleep apnea can cause more complicated health issues. Sleep apnea is correlated with diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks. Obesity can be a precursor to sleep apnea and some of these other issues.
Treating Sleep Apnea
At our office, we can help diagnose and treat your problems with sleep apnea. CPAP breathing machines have been the go-to treatment for sleep apnea. But these can be uncomfortable to wear and cumbersome if you have to travel with them. Patients are more likely to avoid complying with this treatment because they don’t like the machine.
At our office, we offer oral appliance therapy. This is a custom appliance that’s worn while you’re sleeping to adjust the way your jaw is placed during sleep. It prevents those soft tissues from collapsing and keeps your airway open throughout the night. It’s much more comfortable and portable, fitting in the mouth like a mouthguard.
Sleep Apnea Treatment at Your Dallas, Texas Dentist
If you or your partner have noticed your snoring, make sure to get it checked out. Call us or schedule an appointment online.