Did you know that people with untreated sleep apnea have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and car accidents? While this disorder is sometimes taken lightly because snoring can seem laughable, this approach can leave you vulnerable to a slew of health problems, and can even shorten your life. But, since many patients who have this condition can’t tolerate the CPAP machines they’re prescribed, they often put themselves at risk by discontinuing the vital sleep therapy they need. Luckily, though, the team at Weldon General and Cosmetic Dentistry have comfortable dental alternatives that effectively address sleep apnea. In this post, learn more about this sleep disorder and how we can give you the good night’s rest you deserve.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
As a respected professional, Dr. Daniel Weldon knows that sleep apnea is the second most common sleep disorder, right after insomnia. Most people who have this suffer from obstructive sleep apnea – when you sleep, your tongue and lower jaw relax, sliding against the back of your throat and preventing you from breathing correctly. Patients with sleep apnea breathe sporadically while they rest and can stop breathing as much as hundreds of times a night.
Since your body is smart enough to know you’re not getting the oxygen you need, you’ll wake up just enough to start breathing properly, but not enough to remember being awake. These “micro-arousals” can happen hundreds of times a night – leaving you exhausted, but without knowing why.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea has many common symptoms:
- Gaps or elongated pauses in breathing when you sleep – usually noticed by your partner.
- Waking up gasping for air or with an asthma attack.
- Waking up to urinate.
- Morning headaches.
- Exhaustion, even after sleeping 8 or more hours.
- Sleepiness while driving.
- Craving carbs and sweets for energy.
- Depression, irritability, forgetfulness, and trouble concentrating.
- Decreased interest in sex.
- Snoring. *Bear in mind that you can still have sleep apnea even if you don’t snore.*
How Can I Find Out If I Have Sleep Apnea?
If you think you might be affected by sleep apnea, talk with our team or your doctor today – don’t wait. Review these risk factors or take this sleep apnea quiz. After a sleep study, you’ll get the answers you need to address your sleep problem.
Are There Dental Treatments For Sleep Apnea?
Rather than putting your health at risk by leaving this condition untreated, Dr. Weldon can address this sleep problem with a customized oral appliance that gently shifts your lower jaw and tongue forward and keeps your airway open while you sleep. Similar in appearance to a nightguard, your device will be exceedingly comfortable, and much more economical than a CPAP machine. And, it’s effective – custom oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea works well for about 80% of patients.
So, if you’re dealing with sleep apnea in Ocala and CPAP isn’t right for you, schedule your appointment with Weldon General and Cosmetic Dentistry to get the rest you need!