World Sleep Day March 14Friday, March 14th, 2014, 8:14 pm
There are many reasons why a good night’s sleep is important. Researchers have discovered that poor quality or lack of sleep can lead to memory problems as we age and even affect the genes that allow our bodies to heal themselves. One of the most common reasons for poor sleep is the sleep breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. This is where the “breathing” portion of the World Sleep Day comes into play.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes stoppages in breathing during sleep. For some people, this can occur hundreds of times each night, but they will awake with no memory of these wakings. Obstructive sleep apnea patients stop breathing because the soft tissues of the throat and mouth relax during sleep. These tissues fall back and block the airway. If the airway is partially blocked the sleeper will snore. If the airway is completely blocked the sleeper will stop breathing until the brain realizes that oxygen levels are dropping and briefly waken the sleeper to begin breathing again.
Who Is At Risk For Sleep Apnea?
Your risk for obstructive sleep apnea rises if:
- You are overweight
- You have a large neck size
- You are male
- Over age 50
If you have been told that you snore loudly or make gasping sounds during sleep you should be evaluated by your physician for sleep apnea.
Treating sleep apnea can be as simple as visiting a dentist who has been trained in treating obstructive sleep apnea. Why see a dentist about a sleep disorder? Simple, one of the most effective and comfortable methods of managing obstructive sleep apnea is using an oral appliance. Not all dentists have the training required to correctly fit and adjust these appliances so you should seek a dentist who has specialized training in this area.
Please contact Toccoa, GA sleep apnea dentist Dr. Joseph Wilbanks today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your consultation.
Tags: sleep apnea
Category: Dental Sleep Medicine