Sleep apnea is a condition most notoriously known for causing loud snoring. Unfortunately, sleep apnea can be much more than a mere nuisance to loved ones disturbed by the sound of snoring. Sleep apnea can actually be an incredibly dangerous condition because it limits a person’s ability to breathe as he or she sleeps. So not only does obtrusive sleep apnea drastically reduce a person’s ability to get the sleep needed to function well during the day, it can lead to serious health risks as well. If you are tired of struggling from irritability, tiredness, and other sleep-related conditions, without being able to pinpoint a cause of your problems, now is a great time to talk with your dentist about whether sleep apnea could be the cause, and if so, what can be done to help you get the sleep you need!
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s airway becomes blocked during sleep. This can lead to loud snoring, but also a lack of oxygen to the lungs. These episodes also result in increased blood pressure, which can lead to chronic hypertension or high blood pressure. Sleep apnea episodes can occur hundreds or even thousands of times during a single night, drastically reducing how rested a person feels upon waking.
Over time, a lack of proper rest can lead to a host of medical conditions, including irritability, headaches, fatigue, an inability to concentrate, increased risk of depression, heart problems, and many other symptoms.
The good news is that treatment for sleep apnea is often fast and minimally invasive. If a dentist diagnoses you with sleep apnea, he or she may be able to use a custom-crafted oral appliance, such as a SomnoDent Sleep Solution which is designed much like a mouthguard, to help keep the jaw in a comfortable position as you sleep. This appliance can help ensure your airway remains clear as you sleep, leading to a much better quality of rest, as well as lessening of snoring.