San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Snoring might seem innocent, but it is the main symptom of a serious sleep-breathing disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If your partner complains about your snoring, you could be one of the millions of Americans living with sleep apnea, which causes you to experience interruptions in breathing while you sleep. Maybe you’ve heard of sleep apnea, but you’re not aware of all the concerns related to this disorder. Read on as the Bay Area sleep apnea dentists at Glen Park Dental explain the potential health consequences of living with untreated sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is about much more than snoring
Apnea is a term referring to any pause or cessation of breathing. For someone with obstructive sleep apnea, these pauses occur when the airway becomes impeded—usually soft tissue of the throat collapse or the tongue slides back too far, restricting or completely blocking airflow. Obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA for short) is more prevalent among older individuals and those that are overweight, but it can affect people of any age, shape, or body type. If you attempt to breathe with a blocked airway, it creates that common vibration sound that we all know as snoring.
This explains why loud, continual snoring is considered one of the major warning signs of OSA. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include often waking up with a headache, sore throat, and/or dry mouth; chronically feeling tired during the day, no matter how early you went to bed; and gasping or choking while asleep.
Left untreated, sleep apnea affects your ability to function—both physically and mentally. It becomes more difficult to focus and concentrate. Your performance at work and school could suffer. Obstructive sleep apnea increases your risk factor of a host of serious, systemic, life-threatening medical conditions such as cardiac disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, cognitive decline, and diabetes. Even driving becomes risky because of your chronic sleep deprivation, putting both you and other people on the road in jeopardy.
How your dentist can help
Glen Park Dental practices sleep apnea dentistry. Although OSA only can be diagnosed by a qualified sleep specialist, a sleep apnea dentist can screen for sleep-breathing disorders, and provide non-invasive treatment. In most cases, we can treat sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy. We provide you with a customized oral appliance that is modeled from impressions of your teeth and mouth, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. When worn, the oral appliance uses gentle pressure to guide the lower jaw slightly forward into its optimum resting position, which helps keep the airway open while you sleep.
If you experience symptoms related to sleep apnea, you must schedule a sleep apnea screening in the Bay Area. Our doctors at Glen Park Dental can determine the severity of your condition and provide a solution that doesn’t involve having to use a CPAP machine. Stop living with untreated sleep apnea, and the health risks it causes. Schedule a consultation with Glen Park Dental today by calling (415) 585-1500 if you’re living in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.