Sleep is so important to your overall health. Good dental care can help you get a good night’s sleep.
We’ve probably all been there: You’re trying to get a good night’s rest when your significant other’s raspy snoring wakes you from a sound sleep. Many of us don’t even realize that we’ve been snoring until we are faced with the scornful looks in the morning from our spouse. But there is also something dangerous at work when you are snoring. This could be a sign of sleep apnea, a very serious condition that, if left unchecked, could be fatal.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when someone stops breathing in their sleep. In order for it to be considered “true” sleep apnea, a person must stop breathing an average of five times in one hour. Some, however, may stop breathing as many as thirty times. When the person restarts their breathing, they will make a loud noise like a choking sound or a snort or snore. This is how most people learn they have sleep apnea—they hear about it from their spouse or partner. The condition can cause a host of medical problems including fatigue and in some cases can be fatal..
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The most obvious sign of sleep apnea is obviously loud snoring. Some other things to look out for include:
- > Suddenly awakening in the night followed by the inability to catch your breath;
- > Waking up with a headache, dry mouth, or a sore throat;
- > Excessive sleepiness during the day accompanied by attention problems and irritability.
If you exhibit these symptoms, or if someone else notices you’re not breathing in your sleep, you should contact a doctor for further study. Your doctor can order a sleep study where your sleeping is monitored in an office to determine if you stop breathing during your sleep.
There are a variety of techniques for treating sleep apnea. A CPAP device, which is a breathing apparatus that you wear at night to provide you with direct oxygen to keep you from not breathing which many find cumbersome. We recommend trying to decrease excessive alcohol and cigarette use as it can make sleep apnea worse.
The treatment Dr. Mavrostomos likes most for his patients with sleep apnea is a simple mandibular advancement appliance called a TAP appliance. It’s fitted to your teeth and designed to move your lower jaw forward slightly while you sleep opening up your airway. Once airway obstruction is eliminated, patients find they are getting a more restful night’s sleep and wake refreshed. Dr. Mavrostomos, a member of Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines, has been successfully treating patients with sleep apnea for many years.
Sleep apnea can cause you to get a bad night’s sleep, but a lack of oxygen can also weaken the heart, leading to greater risk of heart attack. For this reason, it is imperative to get treatment if you think that you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
Dr. Mike Mavrostomos is passionate and top-quality comprehensive care dentist located in Bedminster, NJ whose continual pursuit of education and state-of-the-art dentistry has led to his being recognized as one of New Jersey’s Top Dentists by the New Jersey Top-Docs committee. Check out our website, reviews, & Facebook page. Connect with us and learn!