The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates 22 million Americans struggle with sleep apnea, with 80 percent of moderate/severe cases going undiagnosed. Do you think you’re one of them?
Your Woodlands sleep apnea dentist is going to go over some of the widespread signs and symptoms of how this disorder tends to appear. Then we’ll talk about the ways we can help you break the cycle of bad sleep, for good!
What is Sleep Apnea Anyway?
We could go on and on about sleep apnea and how it’s actually more dangerous than most people think. But the bottom line is this: This condition occurs when you start to experience moments where you stop breathing during sleep. When this happens, your body instinctively goes into an emergency-type mode where you’re partially or fully jarred awake. Your body does this to get you breathing normally again, without gasps for air. Here’s where the big issue lies with sleep apnea, you can wake up as many as hundreds of times each night and not even know it. (Don’t you think that might explain why you wake up dog tired even after sleeping for nine or ten hours?)
When you stop breathing it tends to be because your soft tissue in the back of your mouth and throat (including your tongue) is:
2) Collapsing into your airway
3) Causing a blockage
This is what your Woodlands sleep apnea dentist would call obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. There’s also a condition known as central sleep apnea (CSA) which is a neurological condition causing the brain to stop sending the body a signal to breathe while sleeping. There’s even complex sleep apnea which is a combination of both!
Are You Experiencing Sleep Apnea Symptoms (and Don’t Even Know It?)
Even though you now know there are different types of sleep apnea diagnoses, one thing is clear – they share a host of the same kinds of symptoms. They mirror one another so much that it can be difficult for your sleep apnea dentist in The Woodlands to determine what type is affecting you.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs and side effects for sleep apneas, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic. Do you think any of these could be affecting your body and your sleep?
– Loud, continuous (even disruptive) snoring
– Episodes where you stop breathing while sleeping (reported by your bed partner, etc.)
– Gasping for air or struggling to breathe while sleeping
– Increased morning dry mouth
– Morning headaches
– Difficulty staying asleep throughout the night
– Excessive daytime sleepiness
– Trouble paying attention or lack of concentration skills
– Irritability or mood swings
– Lack of libido or sexual dysfunction
As you can see, there are plenty of signs and symptoms where our bodies are telling us something isn’t quite right when it comes to sleeping and breathing correctly. It’s up to us to listen and diagnose your unique case of sleep apnea so we can find a custom solution that fits your lifestyle and needs.
How Can Your Dentist in The Woodlands Help With Sleep Apnea?
We know it might seem a little strange to see a dentist because you can’t sleep, but dentists know a lot more about your mouth and head as a whole than you think. We have a team of dentists (Dr. Robert G. Dernick, Dr. David B. Epstein, Dr. Mike Freeman, and Dr. Alisa Reed) all ready to help you get the good night’s rest you need and deserve.
Thanks to their general dentistry and specialty sleep apnea training and expertise, they’re all able to successfully treat sleep apnea with travel-friendly, customized oral appliances, and other devices. Custom oral appliances are a top choice among our Woodlands sleep apnea patients because they’re designed with comfort in mind to fit over your teeth and keep your airway open. Imagine a peaceful night that’s quiet and symptom-free!
Talk to one of our Woodlands sleep apnea dentists today. Sleep apnea is more severe than you think. We want you to live a happy, healthy life for years to come. And (not to sound like your mother) it all starts with getting a good night’s sleep. Contact us today to learn how we can help you feel better and get the rest you need to succeed each day.