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What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?

July 2, 2024
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is being diagnosed more frequently than ever before. More people are realizing that they could be getting better sleep and feel more energized. But how do you know if you have it? What are the symptoms of sleep apnea? Who should you go to for diagnosis and treatment? Learn the answers to these questions and more from Metropolitan Dental Care. 

What is Sleep Apnea? 

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that affects your breathing while you sleep. The scientific term is obstructive sleep apnea because your airway is obstructed (blocked), resulting in pauses in your breathing. The obstruction may be caused by your tongue or the soft tissues of your mouth and throat. You may stop breathing for seconds to minutes at a time. When your brain registers the lack of oxygen it rouses you from sleep enough to change the position of your mouth or body so that you resume breathing. People who suffer from sleep apnea may stop breathing as much as 30 times in a single hour. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea is often characterized by any of the following symptoms: 

  • Loud or prolonged snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Waking up gasping for air 
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Sore throat 

Negative Health Implications of Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea can have a variety of negative effects on your health. When you are not getting quality sleep due to the frequent interruptions of your natural sleep cycles, it can have immediate and long term consequences. People with untreated sleep apnea have a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, mental health disorders, and dementia. Lack of quality sleep can cause grogginess and may even result in falling asleep at the wheel. 

Who Can Diagnose and Treat Sleep Apnea?

If you think you may have sleep apnea, you might not know where to go for diagnosis and treatment. There are sleep specialists who can conduct a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea. But in many cases you can more easily receive a diagnosis and treatment from your dentist. Sleep apnea is diagnosed using a combination of symptom analysis and a visual assessment of your mouth. Your dentist can often see the cause of sleep apnea by evaluating the position of your jaw and teeth, the condition of your teeth (bruxism often accompanies sleep apnea), and the tissues of your throat. 

If your dentist believes that you are suffering from sleep apnea, they can provide you with a mouth guard you can wear at night that holds your jaw forward and prevents your tongue from sliding back to block your airway. 

Schedule a Consultation 

Metropolitan Dental Care provides diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea that can put a stop to snoring and help you get better quality sleep. Call 212-867-4223 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea 

Is a CPAP machine the only treatment for sleep apnea? 

Many people are not thrilled at the prospect of having to wear a mask connected to a breathing machine while they sleep. A sleep apnea mouth guard from your dentist is a comfortable, compact, and quiet alternative to a CPAP if you have mild to moderate sleep apnea. 

Is there a cure for sleep apnea? 

Most treatments for sleep apnea simply control the symptoms. However, there are more long term solutions that can cure sleep apnea, such as orthodontic treatment, myofunctional therapy, and surgery on the throat and oral tissues. 

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Metropolitan Dental Care
275 Madison Ave, Suite 2118
New York, NY 10016
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275 Madison Ave, Suite 2118
New York, NY 10016