5 FAQs about Sleep Apnea: Can My Dentist Help?
You know your dentist is ever-ready to assist you in maintaining good oral health and spectacular smiles. Were you aware though, that he also has the expertise to help you get relief from the effects of sleep apnea?
Consider 5 FAQs about sleep apnea, and the role your dentist plays in treating it.
Question #1: What is sleep apnea?
Answer: The word apnea literally means “ without breath.” Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleeping disorder, in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep, most commonly caused by an obstruction of the airway passage. These breathing pauses last a few seconds, and results in an inadequate intake of oxygen. This leads to the frequent choking, gasping, and loud snoring associated with sleep apnea.
Question #2: How common is sleep apnea?
Answer: It is more prevalent than most people think, and the number of cases is increasing. Reports reveal that sleep apnea affects more than 18 million people in the U.S.A alone. That’s a surprising 1 out of every 15 Americans! Many having the condition have gone undiagnosed. Sleep apnea is more common among men than women, particularly African-American and Hispanic men. A major factor is also the rise in weight gain, and cases of obesity in the United States.
Question #3: What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Answer: Some symptoms include waking up gasping for air, chronic snoring, morning headaches and dry mouth, irritability, daytime fatigue, reduced libido, depression, slow reaction time, along with difficulty concentrating and remembering things.
Question #4: What makes sleep apnea dangerous?
Answer: Sleep apnea can lead to fragmented sleep and lower than normal blood oxygen levels. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and mood disorders.
Question #5: Can my dentist help me treat my sleep apnea?
Answer: Yes. Utilizing specialized training and a custom-made dental appliance, your dentist is able to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Your oral device will help reposition your lower jaw and tongue, resolving the obstruction, and promoting unimpeded breathing while you sleep.
If you think you might have sleep apnea in Elgin, contact us today to learn more about our professional sleep apnea services, and how to start reaping the benefits of a good night’s sleep right away.