Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that is characterized by frequent pauses in breathing due to a restricted airway. Patients typically snore loudly and may wake up gasping for air several times throughout the night. While sleep apnea certainly occurs during the night, the consequences of this sleep disorder are often felt during the day.
The Danger of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Our bodies need sleep. When the quality of our sleep is frequently disrupted, several systems in our body are impacted. During sleep apnea episodes, the throat muscles collapse and it causes brief cessations of breathing. In doing so, oxygen is restricted to the brain and the body is signaled to respond. While you may not remember these episodes of waking up and gasping for air, your body does not go unscathed. Failure to undergo a complete and healthy sleep cycle each night can result in the following daytime symptoms that are associated with untreated sleep apnea:
- Poor concentration
- Memory problems
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Who is At Risk?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea is as common as type 2 diabetes and affects more than 18 million Americans. While sleep apnea can affect all ages, genders and races, those who are male, overweight, and over the age of 40 are at the highest risk.
Contact a Sleep Apnea Dentist
It may seem bizarre to go to your dentist for a sleep disorder. However, snoring and sleep apnea can be successfully treated by a trained dentist. By wearing a custom oral appliance during the night, the airway can be kept open and sleep apnea episodes eliminated or reduced. If you have a partner who snores loudly or wakes up gasping for air, it is important to take action. Dr. Wayne Suway is an experienced dentist who is highly trained in treating sleep apnea and snoring using FDA approved oral appliance therapy. Call our Marietta office now for more information.