Sleep apnea, also called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a common condition that affects more than 50 million people in the United States and more than 1 billion people worldwide. In this review, we discuss the signs of sleep apnea that indicate a need for a professional diagnosis.The most common indicators of sleep apnea are…
How Your Dentist Can Tell If You Might Have Sleep Apnea
You should never dismiss the fact you have sleep apnea. Ignoring this condition can lead to more serious health problems such as cardiovascular troubles. You could eventually suffer a heart attack or a stroke. If you identify this disease early, you can treat it effectively and breathe properly at night once again. Along with helping you to maintain healthy, strong teeth and gums, your dentist is able to diagnose sleep apnea. There are signs and clues that you have this illness.
People who are at risk
Certain individuals are more prone to having sleep apnea than others. Overweight or obese people are high-risk patients, as are people with large necks. Older individuals are more prone to having it as well. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to this illness. People who frequently struggle with nasal congestion should also be wary of the condition. Other underlying health problems can also play a role in developing breathing problems at night.
Snoring and other breathing irregularities
An individual may not even realize they have sleep apnea, but a bed partner can report breathing problems. Snoring is an indication that there is an obstruction in the airway or that there is enlarged tissue in this area. A partner can also inform the dentist that the patient stops and restarts breathing frequently throughout the night. These episodes can be as short as a few seconds and as long as several minutes. An individual who has this condition may also gasp for air as they struggle to breathe at night.
Feeling the effects in the morning
Many symptoms manifest the following morning after a restless sleep. People with sleep apnea often do not get enough rest. The following morning, such people will feel groggy or may have difficulty concentrating. A poor night’s sleep could cause a morning headache or a dry mouth. Patients are often irritable throughout the day as well.
A dental examination to identify sleep apnea
Dentists have the knowledge and training to diagnose sleep apnea. The dentist will start by taking X-rays of the patient’s mouth and neck. These pictures could reveal abnormally large tissues in the throat or other blockage in the airway. The dentist may also do a hands-on examination to determine what is obstructing the person’s breathing.
Recommending a solution
Dentists understand how mouth appliances can help treat sleep apnea. There are two main types of appliances the dentist will use: a tongue depressor and a mouthguard. The depressor keeps the tongue in place, preventing it from going to the back of the throat. A mouthguard is useful for pushing the jaw forward, which will open the airway. Sometimes, a basic treatment could be changing sleeping positions or using a different pillow.
Start breathing well again at night
For both you and your bed partner, having sleep apnea can be a scary condition. This illness can affect you both physically and mentally. Make sure you see your dentist today to discuss how to treat it. Your dentist will look at these factors and use these methods to diagnose and treat your condition.
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Dental sleep medicine is a specialized field in general dentistry. It applies knowledge on the oral appliance theory for a sleep-disordered breathing treatment. As such, loud snoring and the different types of sleep apnea are examples. Resting is relaxing, yet it becomes irritating when you find yourself drifting away with the loud snoring sound of…
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition in which your breathing starts and stops repeatedly during sleep. It is fairly common and fortunately, it is also treatable. If you think you are dealing with sleep apnea, it is important to obtain a diagnosis and get treatment so you can avoid severe side effects of the…
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing while they are asleep. This leads to abruptly waking up in the middle of the night, snoring, and other notable symptoms. The good news is thata dentist can help diagnose and treat sleep apnea.Although millions of people in the United…