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Recognizing the Signs of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder that affects approximately 22 million people in the United States. While patients of all ages are diagnosed each year, this disorder is particularly prevalent in men over the age of 40. It’s also common in patients who are overweight or have poor sleeping habits.

There are three different types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a patient’s upper airway it repeatedly blocked. For example, your tongue can press against the soft palate in your mouth and block your throat while you’re sleeping.
  • Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t send the proper signals your body needs to breathe
  • Complex sleep apnea is a combination of these disorders.

Patients with severe sleep apnea suffer from fragmented sleep patterns and poor blood oxygenation. In fact, a person with this disorder can stop breathing hundreds of times in a single night. This is incredibly dangerous because both your brain and body require a consistent intake of oxygen to properly function.

Common signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Absent or reduced breathing (apnea events)
  • Gasping for air while asleep
  • Loud and frequent snoring
  • Waking up often during the night
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Dry mouth upon waking
  • Headaches
  • Decreased libido
  • Decrease in attention and concentration

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to dangerous health complications and cognitive disorders, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Kidney disease
  • Various cancers
  • Dementia
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Glaucoma
  • Metabolic disorders

There are a few treatment options available to people suffering from sleep apnea. For some people, basic lifestyle changes can mitigate the symptoms associated with sleep apnea. However, a dentist may recommend oral devices, surgical options, and CPAP therapy for more serious cases.

Explore Your Options with an Experienced Dentist

Desert Dental Group has been providing top quality dental services and sleep apnea treatments since 1999. If you’re suffering from the symptoms of sleep apnea, contact our skilled Tuscan dentist as soon as possible. During your examination, we can discuss your treatment options and develop a plan that is customized to reflect your individual concerns and unique medical complications.

Contact Desert Dental Group at (520) 201-1717 to learn more about our services.