August 16, 2018
Does your significant other constantly complain about your loud snoring? Do you feel groggy the next morning even after going to bed early to get a good night’s sleep? Perhaps you’re waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? If you identify with these symptoms, there’s a chance you may need to seek sleep apnea treatment in Jacksonville.
If you’ve never heard of sleep apnea, you should know that it affects millions of Americans every day and can put your health at risk!
What is Sleep Apnea?
Technically there are three forms of sleep apnea, but the most common one dentists see is known as obstructive sleep apnea. This condition (OSA) occurs when a blockage in the throat, either from the tongue, the soft or hard palate, or the tonsils, prevents the airway from receiving sufficient oxygen. It’s easier for these soft tissues to relax and block the throat during sleep, causing the body to choke and force itself awake to prevent suffocation.
While it’s important that you don’t suffocate in your sleep, sleep apnea doesn’t make it easy to rejuvenate after a long day. It can also increase the risk of other conditions like heart disease, stroke, depression, chronic fatigue, accelerated symptoms related to diabetes, and several other medical conditions.
The first step to confirming whether you need treatment is to take note of the following symptoms, especially if you have risk factors related to obstructive sleep apnea.
What are the Symptoms and Risk Factors?
While loud snoring and frequent nighttime urination are common side effects of sleep apnea, it doesn’t guarantee that it’s present. Other symptoms for obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Gasping or coughing in the middle of the night
- Morning headaches or migraines
- Mood swings
- Teeth grinding
- Cessations in breathing while sleeping (i.e. silent pauses)
It’s typically a large combination of symptoms that point to sleep apnea. If your dentist determine you have the following risk factors, you may want to pursue a sleep study to confirm OSA isn’t present. These include:
- Small lower jaw
- Large tonsils
- Alcohol consumption before bed
- Large neck circumference
- Being male
- A family history of OSA
How Do I Get Treated?
Fortunately, there are options for treating sleep apnea. The most common treatment method is the continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP for short. This device administers air through a nasal mask that is worn during sleep. The CPAP machine gently forces air through the airway to help overcome any obstructions. Alternatively, a dental appliance can be worn to shift the position of your jaw, unblocking obstructions in your mouth.
Don’t let sleep apnea ruin your sleep every night. Schedule an appointment with a dentist in Jacksonville to get treated!
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Johnson works with sleep physicians and experts to confirm what the best option for treating sleep apnea is for each patient. If all parties agree that a dental device is best, either in tandem or in lieu of a CPAP machine, they’ll make one customized to fit your mouth exactly. To learn more about the process or participate in a sleep study yourself, contact him through his website.
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