Do you snore loudly when you sleep? If so, you might suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Loud snoring is one sign, and while it does not always indicate that a person has sleep apnea, it is one of the most common signs. If you suspect you have this condition, you can talk to your dentist about it. Since treating sleep apnea is vital for your health and wellbeing, here are a few things you should know.
The Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a health condition that falls into the category of sleep disorders. It is different from other sleep disorders, though. This condition puts you at risk for health issues as it causes you to stop breathing while you sleep. This is because your airway is restricted, and it places a lot of pressure on your heart. As a result, you have an increased risk of heart problems if you live with untreated sleep apnea. You might also feel tired all the time, as it prevents you from sleeping through the night. Many people have this condition without realizing it. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, talk to your dentist to determine what you can do. Many dentists often suggest oral appliance therapy to treat this condition.
The Steps Needed for Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Dentists are often the first health provider that people talk to about their sleep apnea. Your dentist might see signs in your mouth that indicate you have this condition, and they might ask you questions about your sleeping habits. If you or your dentist feel that you might suffer from sleep apnea, your dentist will likely refer you to a sleep clinic. You must undergo a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. This study tracks your sleeping patterns and body for an entire night and is one way to detect if you have sleep apnea. The clinic can send the results to your dentist, and you can discuss the treatment options with them.
Oral Appliance Therapy Is One Form of Treatment
Your dentist is likely to recommend using oral appliance therapy to treat your sleep apnea. Your dentist can custom make an appliance for you to use, and you will use it while sleeping. The goal of the device is to position your mouth properly so that you breathe all night while you sleep. If you would like more information about sleep apnea oral appliances or therapy, talk to your local dentist.