Sleep disorders affect millions of people, but unfortunately, many sufferers don’t realize that one of the most common disorders — sleep apnea — can be helped by your friendly neighborhood dentist.
There are several sleep disorders, such as insomnia, that have very complex causes and might be difficult to treat. On the other hand, sleep apnea can be largely resolved through the use of a very simple “dental appliance.”
If you have been getting up tired for a long period of time, but you don’t remember waking up during the night, you might have sleep apnea. Experts believe sleep apnea is under-diagnosed and may affect millions of people who are unaware of it.
How Sleep Apnea Works During The Night
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of this problem, and is caused when the structure of the airway causes the flow of air to become blocked during the night.
There may be no major medical complication behind the development of obstructive sleep apnea — it can develop because of the natural shape of the airway.
Generally, people with sleep apnea wake up very briefly in the night, because the body signals that it is not receiving air. They briefly gasp, then return to sleep.
As the body struggles to get air while the sufferer is still asleep, they generally begin to snore or even snort in a way that is much louder and more pronounced than usual.
Because of all these sleep disruptions during the night, sufferers can wake up exhausted. They may also disturb their sleeping partner if they share a bed.
Still, it can be hard to notice sleep apnea or be sure that you have it. It should be diagnosed by a physician. Oddly enough, if you have daytime fatigue and rarely remember your dreams, that can also be a sign of sleep apnea — dream recall requires uninterrupted sleep.
How A Dentist Can Help You Get Great Sleep
Obstructive sleep apnea can usually be helped using a small dental appliance. This item will keep the airway open during the night and improve the quality of rest you can receive.
In many cases, this is a far superior way to approach the situation than to have surgery and reshape the airway. It is safer, simpler, less expensive, and often just as effective.
To find out more, call or email Island Dental Associates today!