For most individuals, the biggest threat to the quality of their smiles includes the harm brought on by oral bacteria, including decay, infection, and loss. For a number of others, however, this example falls short in comparison to the effects of nighttime teeth grinding. In today’s blog, your Northwest IN dentist will take a look at the sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea and how its short-term effects can yield major complications down the line.
What is Sleep Apnea
If you find yourself consistently waking feeling exhausted despite obtaining a full night’s rest, it may be time to seek help, as you may be experiencing a phenomenon known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a disorder in which the throat muscles collapse and restrict your air flow while you sleep. When this occurs and it is difficult to breathe, your brain sends messages to briefly rouse you in order to correct the problem. The issue, however, is that once you are unconscious, the muscles relax again, creating a cycle of periodic stopping and resuming of breathing and rousing consistently. In other words, your sleep cycle becomes interrupted as your body attempts to correct the situation, resulting in a restless night. This phenomenon affects millions of people of all ages, and there is not a single specific cause for it to occur. For more information about OSA, contact our team today.
Possible Side Effects
When you experience sleep apnea, you can endure a number of side effects as well. Some of these include periodic stopping and resuming breathing throughout the night, waking up with a dry mouth, experiencing daytime fatigue or exhaustion, irritability, hypersomnia during the day coupled with insomnia at night, morning headaches, and much more. Indeed, OSA can impact your daily routine in many ways, causing a decline in productivity, retention, and more.
Complications Down the Line
While it may not appear to be a major concern immediately, OSA can actually lead to a number of problems down the line that affect your health in its entirety. For example, you may develop a higher risk for heart complications, complications with surgery or medication, liver problems, and more. Indeed, sleep apnea can be a potentially life-threatening condition, which is why it is necessary to seek help as soon as possible. Oftentimes, special treatment or custom appliances can be made in order to address these concerns, but understand that without proper help, your condition will continue to get worse and put you in a dangerous position.
Learn More Today
For more information about the dangers of OSA or steps you can take to address your condition, contact Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry in Northwest IN by calling 219-938-2637 today to schedule your appointment with our team.