Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep, causing breathing to pause or become shallow, this is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (sleep-disordered breathing). For the most part, individuals more at risk are male, are overweight, have a small airway, or a family history of sleep apnea. Yet, anyone can develop sleep apnea, and it’s important to know that it is a serious and potentially life-threatening disorder.
For individuals that are diagnosed with sleep apnea, their first symptom is often snoring. However, there are other symptoms that are easy to overlook. Some include:
- Headaches (more often in the morning)
- Drowsiness or sleepiness during the day
- Night Sweats
- Irritability or trouble focusing
- Gasping during sleep
- Waking up with dry mouth
While obstructive sleep apnea does not manifest in the oral cavity, dentists are sometimes the first to suspect it. This is mostly due to careful consideration of an individual’s pain or sleep history as well as any complaints of dry mouth or sore throat. If dentists think that a patient has sleep apnea, they will refer them to a sleep specialist where a sleep study is conducted. If the diagnosis is confirmed, patients usually follow-up with their dentist to develop a suitable treatment plan.
Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea may include changing one’s sleeping position, stopping smoking, losing weight, or wearing a mouth guard to open up the airway. Even so, surgery may be required for severe cases.
A New Level Of Dental Care
Dr. William Capati, DMD, and the team at Sugar Creek Family Dental welcome your family to our practice in Fenton, where you’ll find a new level of dental care.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from sleep apnea, we want to help. We gladly work with assisting physicians and sleep specialists to treat our patients with chronic snoring and sleep apnea. Do not wait—call Sugar Creek Family Dental today!
Posted on behalf of Sugar Creek Family Dental