Sleep Apnea Can Harm Your Health

sleep apneaMost of us snore from time to time. It can occur when we are particularly tired, or fall asleep in an unusual position with our mouths open. However, if snoring is persistent — and especially loud — Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) might be the culprit. Perhaps surprisingly, OSA and oral health are connected, and your dentist is likely the person who can help solve this issue. OSA causes sleep deprivation today’s blog, In today’s blog, your Gary, IN, dentist talks about Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the ways our team can treat it.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

OSA can have various causes, but a common factor is an abnormality in your throat or mouth tissues. In particular, the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much and you temporarily stop breathing. This prompts your brain to panic and wakes you up, interrupting your sleep in the process. You do not, however, always recognize that you’re waking, so there’s a good chance you don’t even know it is happening. These interruptions can occur up to thirty times an hour, so you’re losing out on a lot of sleep. Unsurprisingly, excessive sleepiness is a common symptom of sleep apnea. Other symptoms can include teeth grinding,  snoring, irritability, headaches, and difficulty paying attention.

Additional Health Factors

While sleep apnea primarily stems from issues in your mouth and back-of-throat, other factors can exacerbate the condition. Excessive weight, consuming alcohol before bed, and smoking can all increase the likelihood of developing OSA. Moreover, family history can play a role. If you have relatives with the condition, there is a higher chance you will. Similarly, a narrowed airway — also sometimes a hereditary issue — can attribute to OSA as well. 

What Are Solutions?

If you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, you should address it as soon as possible. While excessive snoring may not seem like a severe health issue, you should not underestimate the impact losing sleep can have on your health and wellbeing. Luckily, your dentist can create a custom-designed oral appliance that you can wear in your sleep. It will push your jaw forward, which will help prevent your mouth and throat tissue from collapsing while you slumber. This means you will no longer wake up dozens of times throughout the night, ensuring you wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day.

Do You Have Questions About Obtrusive Sleep Apnea?

If you think you or a loved one might suffer from OSA, please Contact Healthy Smiles in Northwest IN by calling 219-938-2637 to learn more about our solutions. You can also visit us at either 4629 Melton Road Gary, IN 46403 or at 6280 W. Main St., Ste.A Portage, IN 46368.