The Risks of Sleep Apnea
|At Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry, we want you to live a happy and healthy life, and a big part of happiness and health is a good night sleep! Feeling well-rested allows us to greet every day with a smile and finish it successfully. Everyone has had the experience where they wake up from a full night sleep, but they are still tired – it can be quite frustrating. Waking up tired is something that happens from time to time, but if you find that you consistently wake up feeling groggy or tired, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop frequently breathing throughout the night, and the consequences of letting your sleep apnea go unchecked can be quite severe.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea describes a condition where you will stop frequently breathing throughout the night. Each of these episodes where you stop breathing can last between 10 to 60 seconds. At the end of each episode, your body will begin to panic, and you will gasp for air. The result of this constant gasping is that you are never allowed to progress through the different levels of the sleep cycle – you are doomed to keep falling asleep and waking up. Most people who have sleep apnea don’t wake up fully enough to realize that they woke up, they just stir and try to go back to sleep.
Sleep Apnea Side Effects
There are some very obvious negative side effects to sleep apnea – being tired all the time, never getting a full night sleep, and being irritable is at the top of the list. What most people don’t realize is that sleep apnea has many negative side effects that are hidden.
High Blood Pressure
Constantly waking up throughout the night and never being able to get enough sleep elevates your stress levels significantly and as a result, blood pressure can sky-rocket. The oxygen level in your blood drops as you stop breathing, making the problem even worse. Many people with high blood pressure because of sleep apnea see significant improvements with treatment.
Those with untreated sleep apnea also have a higher occurrence of heart attacks, usually due to the raised blood pressure and lower oxygen levels in the blood.
Type 2 Diabetes
An extremely common issue that those with sleep apnea face is type 2 diabetes. In fact, more than 80% of those with type 2 diabetes have sleep apnea.
Significant Weight Gain
Putting on weight increases your chances of having sleep apnea. Interestingly, having sleep apnea usually increases your chances of gaining weight. This ends up resulting in a hard cycle to break.
Those who have their sleep apnea treated often notice that they experience significantly fewer asthma attacks.
Those who experience serious problems with sleeping at night due to sleep apnea often also have issues with acid reflux. There are no studies showing a direct correlation between the two but treating one can sometimes help with the other.
Those who are excessively tired are as likely to be involved in or cause a serious car accident as those who drive drunk.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea treatment does not automatically mean that you will need the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine. We know how obtrusive this machine can be, making sleep difficult despite the fact that you are breathing correctly. At our office, we help to fit our patients with an oral appliance that helps to open up the airway without making the patient feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable while sleeping. The appliance is made by a lab to fit your mouth perfectly. It adjusts your lower jaw, which helps to prevent the collapse of the muscles in the back of your throat. The appliance is similar to a mouth guard, which is very easy to wear, enabling you to sleep well every night. The repositioning of your jaw by the mouth guard enables you to have a properly positioned tongue and uvula, enabling proper breathing all night long.
Starting Your Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you are tired of not getting proper sleep, or always feeling as if you do not have enough energy to get through your days, call Toomin & Bieber today! We can help you get to the bottom of your sleep problems, enabling you to rest well once again. We know how important it is for you to get a good night’s sleep; we will do whatever it takes to help you get there, starting with the least invasive measures possible to see if they have an impact on your life. In the end, our oral appliance therapy can help you reposition your jaw and get the sleep you need without any discomfort, invasive surgeries, or embarrassment.
Call us today at (818) 748-9998 for your sleep apnea evaluation.