Sleep Apnea and Your Health
Sleep Apnea is not only about loud snoring, but may cause you to stop breathing over the night causing damaging results to your body and brain. You may be on the cliff wondering whether to seek treatment or not, but health issues related to this condition require immediate medical intervention.
Sleep Apnea Stats
Reliable statistics indicate that there are upwards of 22 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea. Many more suffer in silence as their cases have not yet been diagnosed. Further, more than 38,000 people died in 2017 from heart diseases, emanating from the so-called sleep apnea. The most common type of sleep apnea is the OSA or Obstructive sleep apnea. This affects up to 4% and 2% of men and women respectively. Out of all these, only a paltry 10% seek medical attention.
The condition has life-threatening consequences if left untreated. It leads to many diseases such as stroke, heart diseases, depression, diabetes, road carnage as a result of sleeping while driving and so much more.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea overlap and may become challenging to know exactly which type affects you. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Gasping for air when sleeping
- Loud snoring
- A morning headache
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Hypersomnia (daytime sleepiness)
Is Sleep Disorder Related To Oral Health?
With over 22 million people suffering from this condition in the US, most of them don’t even know unless you alert them when these symptoms manifest. Funny enough is that there is a direct connection between sleep disorders and oral health. Bruxism (tooth grinding), for example, is a sign that one is suffering from apnea. In the long run, it causes wearing out and breakage of teeth. Your gums can also become inflamed. Gnashing of teeth due to apnea can pave the way to tooth cavities which in the end may result in bacteria buildup.
This condition also causes jaw pain. Jaw pain is brought about by a condition, collectively and scientifically referred to as temporomandibular joint disorders. Many people know it as TMD or TMJ. This happens when your throat starts relaxing moments before an apnea episode. It leads to the jaw clamping down blocking the airway. In turn, there is access pressure on the jaw, neck, and shoulder, as well as the mouth, causing TMD or TMJ.
Other dental signs that indicate the presence of sleep apnea in an individual include broken or missing tooth which is not normally natural, jaw clenching, (which is excessive grinding of your teeth), shoulder pain coupled with neck pain, pain when you are chewing, worn out front teeth, and prolonged headache.
Is sleep apnea treatable?
Yes! This condition can be corrected. While there are alternative ways of treating it such as wearing dental appliance which prevents your airway from collapsing, adhering to the weight management program, positional therapy, changing your daily habits such as smoking or drinking, visiting your doctor is imperative. A sleep disorder physician may advise you to take part in a sleep study or better still, get a pulse Oximeter. The later will monitor your blood’s oxygen level. If they detect this condition, the will get you the appropriate treatment for the condition. Get in touch with us to find out more on how you can kick away sleep apnea or treat it upon detection.