If you’ve been told that you snore or sound like you are struggling to breathe during your sleep, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder. Patients with sleep apnea experience a collapse of the soft tissues at the back of the throat, blocking the airway which causes a loud snore or gasp to restore proper airflow.
Most patients are unaware of this issue until they are told by their partner or roommate that they’ve been snoring. Additionally, patients with sleep apnea might often experience waking themselves up in the middle of the night or waking up in the morning not feeling fully restored. Few patients know that sleep apnea can be treated by dentists, like Dr. Huckin.
Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The quality of your sleep has a dramatic impact on your overall dental, physical, and mental health. Sleep apnea patients are at risk of severe health problems that can develop after extended periods of interrupted sleep. The following symptoms should be taken seriously and reported to Dr. Huckin during your regular dental exams in our Dallas dentist office:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for air mid-sleep
- Feeling tired despite having slept
The Health Risks of Sleep Apnea
Untreated sleep apnea can be extremely dangerous. There are many serious health problems that can come with it. Obesity tends to be the main culprit of both sleep apnea and the health issues that can come with it. People with sleep apnea are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea can actually increase blood sugar levels. It makes it harder for you to keep your diabetes under control.
Because you’re losing sleep, sleep apnea has many impacts on your mood and mental state. Even if you thought you got a good night’s sleep, you’re still tired. Lack of sleep makes you mentally foggy and impacts how you remember things. You’re also more likely to be depressed if you have sleep apnea.
Some of the most dangerous impacts are things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart problems. Irregular heart rhythms, strokes, and heart attacks are all common. High blood pressure also makes your breathing trouble even worse, on top of the sleep apnea. It’s extremely important that you seek treatment if you’re worried about signs of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Dallas, TX
CPAP breathing machines are often recommended to treat sleep apnea, though the inconvenience, discomfort, and maintenance that come with this treatment often lead to noncompliance among patients. That’s why we offer a different, less demanding solution: Oral Appliance Therapy.
In most cases, patients suffering from sleep apnea can be treated through the use of oral appliance therapy. This process includes the creation of a customized oral appliance made to fit your comfort and fits like a sports mouthguard or retainer. This appliance positions the jaw to maintain an open upper airway, reducing the collapse of soft tissues at the back of the throat.
Due to the customized fit of the oral appliance, patients are often more likely to regularly utilize it which leads to a decrease in both symptoms and associated risks. Additionally, patients enjoy that this treatment solution is portable and discreet so that you don’t have to worry about neglecting your sleep apnea during your travels. If you’re interested in learning more about our sleep apnea solutions, call Dr. Huckin’s office today.