A estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and 80% have not had it even diagnosed. If you or a loved one snore a lot, that is a possible symptom and surprisingly enough, Wilshire Smile Studio can help. An apnea is a short pause in breathing that causes the body to start to wake up to take another breath, disrupting sleep without the individual becoming fully awake. This can happen hundreds of times a night without the individual remembering anything about it.
The reason many people snore loudly and frequently, especially if they lie on their back, is that a large tongue, tonsils, or mouth tissue partially blocks the airway. This is more common in those with a small jawbone or deviated septum, or who suffer from sinus problems, allergies, or frequent acid reflux. Use of sedatives or tranquilizers aggravates this tendency. Constant snoring is often a key sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Other symptoms can be:
- Waking up in the morning with a migraine, a sore throat, or the feeling of cotton in the mouth (the result of breathing through the mouth in an unconscious attempt to get more oxygen).
- The feeling one should get up and urinate frequently during the night, due to the half-awake awareness sleep disruption causes.
- No matter how many hours one sleeps, she or he is always tired, making it hard to stay awake driving to work or paying attention to what happens there (even falling suddenly asleep at the desk or in meetings).
- Poor concentration and inability to remember things one normally would.
- Depression, anxiety, and irritability that can’t be explained by life’s circumstances.
- Lower libido, including erectile dysfunction.
Sleep apnea raises the risk not only for car accidents, but for all types of cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s disease, so anyone who suspects she or he is suffering from it definitely needs to have it diagnosed as soon as possible.
One place to start is a conversation with your dentist. We are experts at creating FDA-approved oral appliances for OSA sufferers, which can be worn while you sleep, keeping the airway open (for the other type, Central Sleep Apnea, a brain disorder, we can refer you to a physician).
Call Wilshire Smile Studio today for an appointment–before it is too late.