March 8, 2019
It’s National Sleep Awareness Week! No matter who you are, sleep is important. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, do you know what the cause is? It could be sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder affects millions of Americans, with an estimated 80% of cases that are undiagnosed. That’s why National Sleep Awareness Week is an effort to raise awareness of sleep apnea in Grafton, its symptoms, and your treatment options.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to repeatedly wake up throughout the night. The most common type of this disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, leads to the stopping and starting of breathing because of a blockage in your airway. This can cause you to wake up during your night’s sleep. While you’re sleeping, the muscles in your airway relax, causing this inconsistent breathing. The worst part is that you typically won’t be aware it’s happening. Most people wake up feeling tired without knowing why they didn’t sleep well.
What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms?
With so many cases undiagnosed, it’s important to be aware of the common warning signs of sleep apnea:
- Loud snoring
- Stopping and starting of breathing during sleep (reported by your partner)
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Difficulty paying attention
Are There Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea?
While sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, your risk of this disorder increases with these factors:
- Excess weight
- Large neck circumference
- A narrowed airway
- Being male
- Being older
- Family history
- Use of alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Nasal congestion
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Thankfully, your dentist can treat sleep apnea using an easy and nonsurgical method. They will create a personalized mouthguard for you to wear while you sleep, which keeps your airway open and clear for breathing. This allows for better sleeping, less snoring, and reduction of some of the other symptoms of sleep apnea. For years, sleep apnea was misdiagnosed, which is why more and more dentists are treating it to provide patients with the care that they need.
Sleep apnea can affect you in ways that you didn’t even realize. Are you ready to get your good night’s sleep back? Contact your dentist in Grafton to start counting sheep with ease.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Joe Kern understands the relationship that your mouth can have with your breathing, which is why he offers expert sleep apnea therapy at his practice. He stays up to date on the latest dental techniques through continuing education. For any questions, he can be contacted through is website or by phone at (405) 364-2200.
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