Sleep apnea can have a negative impact on your health and prevent you from getting the restful night’s sleep your body needs. Many people endure the problem for months or even years without seeking treatment, not knowing that they have apnea, not knowing there is treatment, or not discussing with their health care professionals concerns that they may have regarding apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical threat and now dentists and physicians are working together to provide patients with treatments for this condition before apnea affects their overall health.
By understanding what causes sleep apnea and enlisting an experienced dentist who can work with a physician to provide you with an effective treatment, you can take the first steps toward sleeping better, improving your overall health, and potentially living a longer, healthier life.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the person will stop breathing during sleep anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more. These pauses in sleep, called apneas, can happen dozens if not hundreds of times each night. This prevents the sufferer from falling into a deep, restful sleep.
After weeks, months or years of continuously interrupted sleep the person can begin to suffer serious health-related problems including constant fatigue, heart attack or strokes. Other potential health issues that can result from long-term sleep apnea include:
- sudden death
- erectile dysfunction
- high blood pressure
- decreased libido
- inability to concentrate
- impaired memory
- increased nocturnal urination
Whether you have battled sleep apnea for weeks or years, or if you just suspect you might have sleep apnea, you should visit a dental professional experienced with sleep apnea as soon as possible for help. Dr. Radz will be able to shed more light on the problem and work with you to find a solution.
How to recognize possible sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form, occurs when the airway is blocked by the surrounding soft tissue in the mouth and throat. You may need to rely on a friend or loved one who sleeps nearby to alert you about some of the signs of sleep apnea, which include:
- gasping or completely stopping breathing during sleep
- frequent, loud snoring
- daytime drowsiness
- dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
- difficulty paying attention, poor memory or moodiness during the day
- persistent use of sleep aides, prescription or over the counter (Ambien, Tylenol PM, alcohol, melatonin, etc.)
If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to do something about it by visiting your dentist or physician who can help solve your problem quickly and effectively.
You can take the survey on this link to see if you have some of the indicators of sleep apnea. The universally accepted survey is the first step to seeing if you have a sleep disorder.
For those patients that cannot tolerate/wear a CPAP, an effective alternative is an oral sleep appliance therapy. An oral sleep appliance is a non-invasive, portable, effective alternative to CPAP therapy.
The oral sleep appliance is device prescribed by an MD that is custom fabricated by a dentist. This device is worn over the teeth and assists in opening up the patient’s airway so they can breathe better while asleep. For many of our patients who are CPAP intolerant, we have found we are able to find them a solution that will allow them to treat their apnea using the oral appliance.
If you are tired of – and from – dealing with sleep apnea every night, let our team of dedicated sleep professionals discuss with you how a custom created dental appliance can make a big difference in your quality of sleep.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options and Effectiveness
Sleeping next to someone with Sleep Apnea
Do you suspect you are sleeping next to someone with Sleep Apnea? The majority of of people with sleep apnea do not recognize it themselves, it takes their sleep partners to identify the problem.
Contact our Denver office today to schedule your next appointment! Dr. Gary Radz and his team are committed to providing patients with comprehensive, personalized care that puts their comfort first each and every time they come in for treatment. Let us give you something to smile about! We’re also happy to serve the surrounding areas of Englewood, Aurora, Lakewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, and beyond.