You sleep the night through but wake up feeling tired; you are having trouble concentrating and you forget basic things. It is quite likely that you suffer sleep apnea, a condition where your air supply is cut off every few minutes when you are asleep. It can happen as often as 30 times an hour. You don’t even wake up – it happens is a matter of seconds. The problem is that you can never achieve REM sleep, or Rapid Eye Movement sleep which is the stage of sleep when you rest both your mind and body. This is a condition that affects millions of people around the world.
In order to understand how your Sacramento, CA dentist can help you diagnose and treat sleep apnea, it is important to understand why it happens in the first place. When you sleep the muscles and tissues around your throat relax and then from time to time collapse on your airway. It can happen because you are overweight, have taken alcohol, have slept in a poor position and sometimes it just happens. To know whether you are suffering from sleep apnea you should look out for the following symptoms:
• You snore loudly when you are asleep. You also gasp.
• If you experience headaches in the morning it is likely you are not sleeping through the night because of sleep apnea.
• If you have problems concentrating at work and have developed a poor memory all of a sudden it could be caused by sleep apnea.
• Irritation is another symptom that your air supply is being cut off when you are asleep. You may also experience depression and mood swings.
• It is normal to wake up to urinate once or twice during the night but of you find yourself going more often you could be suffering from sleep apnea.
• If you have a dry throat and mouth you most likely have interrupted sleep cycles.
Most people don’t know that sleep apnea can occur in children. It can be caused by being overweight but mostly, it happens because the child’s muscles around the throat are still developing. You will know if your child has sleep apnea if they are hyperactive, are performing poorly in class, are irritable and display angry behavior often.
What happens if sleep apnea goes untreated?
If you don’t think that sleep apnea is a condition that can go untreated you should think again. If you don’t see your Sacramento, CA dentist to treat your sleep apnea you are putting yourself at risk. It increases your chances of getting high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, obesity and diabetes. It also increases the risk of heart failure and because you are not as alert as you should be at work it increases your chances of getting an accident.
How can a dentist help?
Your Sacramento, CA can help you treat your apnea by creating a mouth guard or another mouth appliance that you can wear at night to keep your airways open. These are the best appliances for treating sleep apnea – they are non-invasive, do not involve you taking any medications and they are affordable. The dentist takes a case of your teeth and then custom makes a device that fits you exactly. Oral appliance therapy has been used successfully for many years. Sufferers report that their symptoms either reduce or disappear completely.
The only problem with this kind of therapy is that the device that your dentist created for you will wear with time. You can fix this by simply getting another device made. You may feel uncomfortable the first few nights wearing your braces. Don’t worry about this as it is perfectly normal; you will get used to it and in a few days you will be able to sleep through the night and wake up refreshed in the morning.
Why should you go to a dentist and not a real doctor?
Your Sacramento, CA dentist has a few advantages over your doctor – first, they know your mouth better than anyone else so that are best suited to create your apnea device. Second, your dentist can examine the cause of the problem, your mouth, and diagnose whether there are other problems that are cause apnea. Third, as most sleep apnea sufferers often suffer also grind their teeth in their sleep. A dentist can diagnose and repair any teeth that have been damaged. So far, no other treatments have been found to be effective in treating sleep apnea except oral appliance therapy so you trust your dentist to help you.