Sleep Dentistry |3 min read

What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Woman happily sleeping

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you repeatedly stop breathing for at least 10 seconds while sleeping.

It can lead to an array of health issues if left untreated.

This is why you should know the warning signs of sleep apnea.

In this blog, we’ll discuss:

  • Symptoms
  • If it’ll go away
  • The effects of this condition
  • And more

Keep reading to find out.

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

There are several signs of sleep apnea, including:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud, frequent snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability
  • Night sweats
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Sudden awakenings
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • And more

Many folks who suffer from sleep apnea claim to feel “a different kind of tired” during the day.

Sleep apnea may also wreak havoc on your mouth. This condition may cause:

  • TMJ pain
  • Worn teeth from clenching and grinding at night
  • A scalloped tongue
  • Bony growths on the jawbones in your mouth
  • Dry mouth or sore throat
  • Acid reflux

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist today.

What can sleep apnea cause?

If untreated, sleep apnea may cause several dangerous health risks, including:

  • A high prevalence of cardiac events and stroke
  • Always being tired and worn out during the day
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Cancer

recent study… This text opens a new tab to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website… showed patients with sleep apnea are almost 2.5 times more likely to be the driver in a motor vehicle accident than a control group of other drivers in the general population.

Additionally, symptoms such as loud snoring or teeth grinding may disrupt your natural sleep cycle, causing a lack of deep sleep.

Children especially are affected when deprived of deep sleep because that’s when children secrete growth hormones. A lack of deep sleep could result in children being in the lower percentiles of height and weight.

Research… This text opens a new tab to the Sleep Foundation website… has shown there’s a correlation between poor sleep and airways with ADHD.

A lack of REM sleep may result in poor memory and poor performance in school or work because that’s when you imprint what you’ve learned that day onto the brain to remember it.

Does sleep apnea go away?

Generally speaking, sleep apnea is a chronic condition that does not go away.

However:

Multiple types of treatment effectively minimize or eliminate symptoms of sleep apnea.

How do you get rid of sleep apnea?

Your dentist can recognize signs of sleep apnea, gather more information, and communicate with your primary care physician for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

The top treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea in adults is CPAP therapy.

A CPAP machine delivers a steady flow of oxygen into your lungs through a hose and mask or nosepiece.

But:

Oral appliance therapy may be better suited for you if:

  • You can only tolerate using a CPAP for part of the night
  • You’ve previously tried using a CPAP and couldn’t tolerate it

If you’ve been diagnosed, your dentist may provide treatment. Some dentists, like ours, offer sleep apnea therapy with custom oral appliances.

The best treatment for children is to remove their tonsils and adenoids (the tissue that sits in the back of the nasal cavity).  Additionally, they may need orthodontic care to widen their dental arch.

Have more questions on sleep apnea?

Our expert dentists at Farmer & Williamson would be glad to discuss sleep apnea treatment with you.

If you or a loved one have any warning signs of sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Schedule a consultation for sleep dentistry today.

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Farmer & Williamson is located in Wichita, KS,… This text opens a new tab to our Google listing… and proudly serves surrounding communities, including Maize and Valley Center, KS.

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