Sleep apnea is not easy to live with. It will rob you of rest and energy. The dentists at S&G Family Dentistry in Leawood, KS can help you get past your sleep apnea symptoms and back to sleeping soundly.
What is Sleep Apnea?
When people talk about sleep apnea, many are referring to only one type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea. There are actually two main forms of sleep apnea.
- Central Sleep Apnea – This form of sleep apnea originates from the part of the brain that controls your breathing while you sleep. Periodically, your brain fails to send the message to muscles that control your breathing. This causes your breathing to stop for a short time. The messages resume, and you begin breathing again.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This is the type of sleep apnea that is treated at S&G Family Dentistry. With this type of sleep apnea, your breathing is interrupted because of a blockage in your airway. This blockage is due to something in the throat, normally your tonsils, tongue, or tissues. S&G Family Dentistry can help you with the use of oral appliances that will lessen, or even eliminate, your sleep apnea symptoms.
Who’s at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of your airway, and while anyone, regardless of age or gender, can develop sleep apnea, there are several factors that contribute to developing this disorder. Some of those risk factors include:
Age – Patients over the age of 40 are more likely to develop sleep apnea than younger patients. There really isn’t anything you can do about this risk factor. We just want to make sure that you are aware of it, especially if you start developing symptoms and aren’t sure why.
Fitness Level – Overweight individuals have an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. The extra weight gives your body more tissues near your airway, allowing for the blockage to develop. Beginning a fitness plan (at the gym or at home), going on a diet, or seeking professional advice from our office or your physician will give you some help in overcoming this risk factor.
Neck Size – Patients with large necks are more prone to develop sleep apnea. For men, the measurement for a large neck is 17 inches, while a large neck for a woman is 16 inches. The size of your neck may be weight related.
Family History – A history of sleep apnea within your family may also point to a higher potential for developing this sleep disorder.
What Are Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
Snoring – This is the most recognizable symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. This is not typical snoring. This kind of snoring will often wake everyone in the room, and maybe even the house.
Mood Swings – Due to the lack of sleep, you are going to be prone to mood swings. This may be hard to deal with and can cause issues in other areas of your life.
Exhaustion – Again, due to your lack of a restful night’s sleep, you are not going to have as much energy and may suffer from exhaustion because of it.
Insomnia – Obstructive sleep apnea throws off your rest patterns, and you can find yourself wide awake when you should be sleeping, and then feeling sleepy when you need to be wide awake.
Sore Throat – In order for your body to clear the blockage in your airway, it will violently push air through your airway. This is going to cause some discomfort, usually as a sore throat.
What Are Common Sleep Apnea Treatments?
There are some things you can try at home now, and there is a treatment you can get from S&G Family Dentistry to help you get past your sleep apnea symptoms.
- Working Out – With weight and neck size having such an impact on whether you develop sleep apnea, working out is a great place to start. Even if it doesn’t result in decreased sleep apnea symptoms, you will still be healthier and feel better for doing it. It truly is a no-lose situation.
- Changing Your Sleeping Position – Sleeping on your back may contribute to your sleep apnea symptoms. Try changing position and sleeping on your side. This may make it less likely for you to experience a sleep apnea episode while you sleep.
- Oral Appliances – S&G Family Dentistry can fit you for a custom oral appliance that will help you eliminate the sleep apnea symptoms that keep you up at night. These appliances resemble mouthguards and will push your lower jaw out slightly to fully open your airway. This will help you breathe freely and sleep the whole night through.
We are one of only 25 offices statewide that are AADSM board certified to diagnose and treat sleep apnea. Call us today at 913-945-1612 to schedule your appointment and start sleeping again. You can use our online form to schedule your appointment also.