Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea and How Your Dentist Can Help

Categories: Sleep Apnea, Snoring

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious sleep disorder characterized by repeated breathing interruptions while asleep, which can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. This sleep disorder can affect your quality of life, your productivity, and your overall health and well-being. The good news is that you can collaborate with dental professionals to find the best possible solutions to help improve breathing and alleviate symptoms. In this blog, we’ll explore what obstructive sleep apnea is, how it’s diagnosed, what the common symptoms are, and what your dentist can do to help. Houston Sleep Solutions South, in Pearland and Friendswood TX,  will be able to help you determine if sleep apnea treatment is right for you.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when your airway is blocked repeatedly during sleep, causing you to stop breathing. During an apnea episode, the muscles in your throat relax and your airway narrows or closes, resulting in reduced or complete lack of airflow. You may experience short interruptions in breathing throughout the night, which can lead to low oxygen levels in the blood, potentially leading to long-term health risks like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, or other disorders.

Who is at risk?

OSA can affect anyone, but it’s most common in people who are overweight, middle-aged, or older. Men have a higher risk of developing OSA than women. Additional factors and health conditions linked to OSA include genetics, smoking, alcohol consumption, nasal congestion, and hypertension.

What are the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

The most common symptoms of OSA include loud snoring, chronic daytime fatigue, periodic interruptions in breathing, restless sleep, frequent awakening, insomnia, morning headaches, dry mouth or sore throat upon waking, and a general feeling of discomfort or malaise. If left untreated, OSA can increase the risk of developing serious health complications like heart attack, stroke, or diabetes.

How can your dentist help?

An increasing number of people with OSA are turning to their dental professionals for treatment and advice. Dentists can help detect OSA, advise upon the right treatment, and provide therapy for obstructive sleep apnea using oral appliances. Oral appliances are a great alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy and work by keeping the airway open during sleep. These custom-fitted devices help keep your jaw in a forward position to prevent soft tissues from obstructing the back of the throat.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a critical sleep disorder that can lead to long-term health consequences if left undiagnosed or untreated. A collaborative approach between your dentist and physician can help you manage this disorder and improve your sleep quality, daily energy levels, and overall health. If you think you may be experiencing the symptoms of OSA, talk to your dentist today, and he or she will most likely refer you to an experienced sleep specialist or a physician to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Remember, good dental care extends beyond maintaining healthy teeth and gums – it can help improve your quality of life by identifying and addressing sleep issues, too.

Dr. Montz, Dr. Maher, or Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South will be able to help you determine if sleep apnea treatment is right for you. Contact us now.

Locations (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2443 S Galveston Ave
Pearland, Texas 77581

Pearland Phone: 281-485-4829

1769 S. Friendswood Dr. Ste 107
Friendswood, TX 77546
Friendswood Phone: 713-565-1178