Snoring is an annoying problem for many people around the world. Snoring can be disruptive for partners and roommates, and it can also be a sign that the snorer is not getting the quality sleep they need to feel well-rested. However, snoring can also signal a larger overall health concern. Your snoring may be part of obstructive sleep apnea. This condition causes you to wake up (sometimes hundreds of times) throughout the night, often without even realizing that you’re doing so. Sleep apnea can have health ramifications beyond just a snore.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea and How Does It Affect Your Body?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition characterized by the blockage of your airways via some obstruction — often an oral tissue. When you fall asleep, your muscles relax, and this can cause your tongue, or other oral tissues, to block your airway and restrict the amount of air that flows to your lungs and brain. Without enough oxygen, you will eventually wake up to prevent yourself from suffocating. However, you may not even become conscious during these apneatic episodes. That means that self diagnosing the condition is difficult, if not impossible.
There Are Big Picture Health Concerns that Come with Sleep Apnea
Waking up constantly throughout the night disrupts your sleep cycles and prevents you from ever getting the restful sleep that you need to feel good and productive during the day. Over time, a lack of quality sleep can create other health conditions in your body. You may feel fatigued, but untreated sleep apnea can also cause high blood pressure, increasing your risk for heart attacks and strokes. This condition can also cause poor liver function and depression over time. Quality sleep is so vital to your body’s rest and recovery routine. Without quality sleep, you simply won’t feel your best.
Your Dentist Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea
The solution for sleep apnea doesn’t have to be complicated. You may have seen the breathing machines that are used to treat the condition, but that kind of hardware isn’t always necessary. Often times, your dentist can prescribe for you an oral appliance that shifts your jaw forward slightly to keep your airways open. Your dentist can take precise measurements to ensure that your appliance fits you perfectly. Simply wearing the appliance at night is typically enough to prevent snoring and get you the restful sleep you need.
Treat Your Obstructive Sleep Apnea at Elm Creek Dental
The team at Elm Creek understands the hardship that sleep apnea can create. Dr. Carter and his staff will help diagnose your sleep apnea and provide you with the right treatment method to get you the sleep you need. Schedule an appointment to discuss sleep apnea by contacting Elm Creek Dental in Maple Grove, MN at 763-416-0606.