The Harmful Effects of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is the stoppage of breathing that occurs several times each night while you sleep. This a serious medical condition that afflicts an estimated 18 million Americans.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can be very harmful to your health. It’s been linked to a number of serious medical conditions, including strokes, heart disease, diabetes, depression, reduced libido, and anxiety. Sleep apnea is also disruptive in your personal life.
Sleep apnea can cause you to be drowsy and irritable during the day, and this can have a negative effect on your work life and relationships. Feeling sleepy during the day often leads to dangerous automobile accidents. Sleep apnea can also impair your intellectual functioning and even cause memory problems.
Dentists and Sleep Apnea
Patients don’t automatically think of their dentist when it comes to sleep apnea, but dentists “have a significant role in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.” This makes sense when you think about it because dentists have extensive training and experience in the region of the body where sleep apnea occurs.
Dentists are commonly the first medical practitioners to discover signs of sleep apnea. Dentists often notice clues about which patients might suffer from sleep apnea by examining the shape of their jaw or the size of their tongue and other organs.
The shape and condition of a patient’s teeth can be another telltale sign of sleep apnea. For example, worn down enamel is evidence of nighttime teeth grinding, which often accompanies sleep apnea.
Getting the Proper Care
If Dr. Guinn notices symptoms of sleep apnea during a regular examination, she’ll ask the patient some questions about the type of sleep they’re getting and how they feel during the day. The next step is making sure the patient gets an accurate diagnosis.
Once your sleep apnea has been diagnosed, it’s time to find the ideal treatment for you. We feature a range of options. CPAP is often referred to as the gold standard of sleep apnea treatment and it’s very effective, especially in case of severe sleep apnea.
Unfortunately, patients often find CPAP to be loud, unpleasant, and inconvenient. Patients frequently stop using CPAP after less than a year.
Many of our patients prefer to use a custom-crafted oral appliance, a small device that fits inside your mouth while you sleep. It looks sort of like a retainer, and it offers relief from sleep apnea for countless patients. Oral appliances can also be used to treat snoring.
Call 626-513-4987 today or fill out the submission form to learn more about how Dr. Guinn can provide relief for sleep apnea and snoring.