What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by involuntary interruptions in your breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstructions or blockages in the airway, such as the tongue rolling back in the throat or collapsed tissues in the airway. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause fatigue and irritability, and even contribute to serious health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure.
Treating Sleep Apnea
There is no single correct way to treat sleep apnea. For some, simple lifestyle changes such or weight loss can restore sleep patterns. But for many, the aid of some external device is often needed. CPAP machines are one of the most commonly used sleep apnea treatments. While many patients find their CPAP to be effective, these machines can be uncomfortable and even noisy.
At RM Advanced Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we want to help you sleep comfortably through the night again. We offer alternatives to bulky CPAP devices that gently adjust your mouth so that you can breathe naturally. These oral appliances work to naturally open up your airway so that your body receives sufficient air through the night.
Did you know?
- 1 in 5 Americans who suffer from sleep apnea have not been diagnosed.
- 1 in 3 people over the age of 15 is at risk of developing sleep apnea.
- It is estimated that 1 in 15 (18 million) Americans currently have sleep apnea.
- Of the 18 million who have sleep apnea, people are 4x more likely to have a stroke and 3x more likely to have heart disease if their sleep apnea is left untreated.
Effects of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can contribute to several major health conditions. While some people are unaware that they have sleep apnea, there are some common signs that you look for. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor about a diagnosis, and visit your dentist for possible treatment options:
- Enlarged uvula
- Hyperplastic soft palate (enlargement of the area)
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal polyps
- Enlarged tonsils
- Enlarged tongue
- Small lower jaw
- Receding chin
- Neck size larger than 17 inches
- Obesity and overweight
- Stopped airflow and normal breathing while sleeping
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Morning headaches
- Gasping for air at nighttime
- Restless sleep
- Irritability and mood swings
- Decreased ability to concentrate or keep attention
- Decline in daily performance
- Shortness of breath
Related Health Issues
Untreated sleep apnea can be a contributing factor to other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Below is a list of how frequently some diseases develop as a result of obstructive sleep apnea:
- Hypertension: 35%
- Atrial Fibrillation: 49%
- Pacemakers: 59%
- Diabetes: 72%
- Congestive Heart Failure: 76%
- Obesity: 77%
- Drug-Resistant Hypertension: 83%
- Nighttime Heart Attacks: 91%
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Roberto Macedo can provide you with a custom oral appliance to treat your symptoms and help get you the good night’s rest you need. To schedule your consultation with our experienced dentist, or to learn more about sleep apnea treatment in St. Petersburg, Florida, please call us today at 727-202-4459.