What You Should Know About Sleep Apnea

sleepapneaIt may not be common knowledge, but did you know your dentist can treat sleep apnea? Sleep apnea may not seem associated with dentistry but it is often caused by an oral health condition. Sleep apnea has several symptoms and side effects that can affect your quality of life. In today’s blog your Livonia, MI dentist, Dr. James Stewart is going to address important facts that you should know about sleep apnea.

  • There are three types of sleep apnea, obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, affecting about 20 million people in the US alone.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by soft palate. Your palate is the top of the inside of your mouth. The top front of the mouth is the hard palate and the back fleshy part is the soft palate. The soft palate relaxes during sleep and if it is too soft or too thick, it can obstruct your airway.
  • Symptoms of sleep apnea include: lapses in breathing; loud, excessive snoring; gasping, snorting, or choking during sleep; frequent wakefulness.
  • Sleep apnea is potentially dangerous. Left untreated it can lead to serious health issues such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, chronic heart failure, and stroke.
  • The frequent wakefulness associated with sleep apnea disrupts REM sleep and causes several side effects including: daytime sleepiness; falling asleep while driving; dry mouth and/or sore throat; headaches, particularly in the morning; insomnia; depression, lapses in concentration; irritability; poor memory; and difficulty making decisions.
  • A common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a M.A.D. (mandibular advancement device) device. A M.A.D. device is similar in looks to a sports mouth guard but is designed to reposition your tongue and lower jaw to open your airway. This helps alleviate snoring, choking, and other symptoms associated with sleep apnea.

About Dr. Stewart

James R. Stewart, Jr, DDS, PC and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. If you think you or a loved one is dealing with a sleep disorder, call our office today at (734) 425-4400, to schedule an appointment. At Dental sleep Medicine of Michigan, we are committed to forming trusting relationships with our patients so we can work together to achieve sound treatment and a future full of restful nights.