For most people, when they think about the condition sleep apnea, they think about specialists like sleep medicine professionals. Many people may not think about how their dentist can be the one to provide them with effective treatment options for sleep apnea. If you are suffering from sleep apnea or think you have the symptoms of this condition, find out how visiting your dentist can help you find the best way to manage it.
A Close Look At Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes its sufferers to stop breathing several times during the night, from a few seconds up to more than a minute at a time. Sleep apnea can be a life-threatening condition. Sleep apnea causes the muscles in the back of your throat to relax while you are sleeping. The muscles that relax are also responsible for supporting the soft palate, the uvula, the tonsils and your tongue. When these muscles relax at the same time because of sleep apnea, they block the airway.
Many people do not wake up during sleep apnea episodes because their body corrects itself. People that do not wake up during sleep apnea episodes wake up with headaches, extreme fatigue, and dry mouth from trying to breathe with their mouth open. However, during the average sleep apnea episode, the blood loses a great deal of oxygen that can lead to other health problems over time.
Complications Associated With Sleep Apnea
Not only does sleep apnea cause you fatigue that decreases your safety during driving and other activities like that at your job, it also increases your risk for serious health conditions:
High blood pressure and cardiovascular problems because of oxygen deprivation. Cardiovascular problems like stroke and heart disease are great in those people suffering from sleep apnea.
Diabetes is common in people suffering from sleep apnea.
Digestive conditions like chronic acid reflux.
Many men suffering from sleep apnea also suffer from erectile dysfunction due to oxygen deprivation.
How Your Dentist Can Help
Many dental professionals today are trained to treat sleep apnea. Your dentist may provide you with a special mouthpiece that will help keep airways open while you sleep. Your dentist may also refer you to sleep specialists for determining the severity of your sleep apnea as well.
If you wake up every morning feeling like you did not rest and you spend all day tired, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Talk to your dental professional about the steps you can take to prevent breathing problems during the night while you sleep. Companies like Sunshine Dentistry may be able to meet your needs in this area.