It’s 2:07 a.m. and you’re lying in bed. Awake. Again. Your partner’s snoring is robbing you of sleep. Again.
According to Sleep.org, nearly 90 million Americans snore.
And half of those who snore may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a chronic condition in which your air passages becomes blocked during your sleep cycle.
Most often, this happens when the muscles in the back of your throat or mouth relax, allowing your tongue to obstruct your airway, cutting off oxygen to your lungs and brain. After an OSA episode, breathing usually resumes with a loud gasp, snort or body jerk.
Often patients aren’t aware this is happening—though their significant other is always aware it is.
In the best-case scenarios, patients find themselves fatigued throughout the day. Worst case, they suffer Excessive Daytime Sleepiness and find themselves in dangerous situations. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other serious health conditions—including suffocation.
Warning signs of sleep apnea in adults
- * Snoring
- * Waking up suddenly and feeling like you’re gasping or choking
- * Drowsiness or Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
- * Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
- * Headaches in the morning
- * Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, depression, or irritability
- * Trouble waking up in the mornings
- * Sweating a lot at night
- * Restlessness during sleep
Symptoms in adolescents may not be as obvious. In addition to the symptoms listed above, keep an eye out for:
- * Unusual sleeping positions, such as sleeping on the hands and knees, or with their neck hyper-extended,
- * Bed wetting,
- * Choking or drooling, or
- * Rib cage moves inward when they’re exhaling.
One in five Americans has mild OSA, while the diagnosis in another one in five is moderate to severe OSA.
If you have OSA, we’ll fit you with a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)—Dr. Mike prefers the TAP brand device. The MAD opens your airway by moving your lower jaw—known in doctor speak as the mandible—forward. Moving your jaw forward, keeps the collapsible part of your airway open.
If you suspect you—or someone you love—has OSA, talk to your doctor or dentist immediately.
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.