Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses and obstructs the airway temporarily while an individual is asleep. While this cessation of breathing is brief and not life-threatening during the episode, the repetition of the condition can ultimately lead to serious medical problems.
This condition can be treated by your physician or your dentist to avoid these concerns. Claremont Dental Institute, a dental practice in Claremont, CA, emphasizes the importance of treating sleep apnea to prevent long-term health issues.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
Because sleep apnea occurs while an individual is unconscious, some patients may not realize that they have this disorder. If the patient has a partner, they may report loud snoring or moments of breathing cessation during the night.
The individual might experience gasping awake or feeling groggy in the daytime. If these symptoms seem familiar and persist, you may want to speak to your health professional about sleep apnea treatment.
What Happens If I Do Not Treat Sleep Apnea?
Some mild cases of sleep apnea resolve on their own when patients maintain a healthy weight and make other positive lifestyle changes. However, in many instances, sleep apnea stems from factors beyond a patient’s control and will require intervention from a medical professional.
If sleep apnea remains untreated, the repeated cessations in breathing during sleep will put pressure on the heart. This could increase your risk for cardiovascular problems, including heart failure. Disrupted sleep from this disorder will also negatively impact cognitive function.
How Can My Dentist Help?
Your dental professional can help you treat mild obstructive sleep apnea. They can create a mouthguard for you to wear overnight that will keep your jaw aligned and your airway open as you sleep.
This oral appliance will be custom-made to suit your unique bite, ensuring a comfortable and discreet fit. You will not have to worry about the device slipping out of place during the night. Improve your health and sleep schedule by talking to your dentist.