Sleep apnea can be a life-threatening disorder. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night. This can lead to exhaustion, due to the consistent awakening throughout the night, as well as a variety of other issues. The lack of oxygen can cause serious strain to your heart which can lead to heart attacks.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea. Regardless of the type of sleep apnea, protective measures should be taken to offset the negative effects of sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. It is caused by a relaxing of the throat muscles that narrows or closes the airway. This effect can be intensified when under the influence of alcohol or drugs that cause muscle relaxation.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is caused when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Without these signals, the body doesn’t regulate breathing as it should. This can happen more consistently with certain medications that may interfere with the brain’s function.
Signs that You Might Have Sleep Apnea
It can be difficult to determine if you have sleep apnea, especially because you are unconscious when the disruptions in breathing occur. A loved one may notice the lapses in breathing, but this isn’t always the case. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Hypersomnia (extreme exhaustion during the day)
- Difficulty concentrating
If you experience these symptoms, it is best to seek medical treatment immediately. Prolonged sleep-apnea disorder can result in a myriad of diseases.
Your dentist is capable of providing an appropriate sleep apnea treatment for you. This typically involves of the use of a device that helps prevent the airway from closing overnight. This can not only prevent the loss of oxygen from happening, but it can also provide your loved ones with some much needed rest.
If you are concerned that you might have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment at Avenues Family Dentistry today!