Yet Another Reason to Quit Smoking... Better Sleep

Saturday, January 25th, 2014, 7:05 pm

Do you need another reason to quit smoking? We all know that smoking leads to cancer and heart disease. People who smoke have a high risk of oral cancers and smokers usually develop gum disease along the way. A new study shows that smoking also disrupts your sleep which can lead to depression, anxiety and cognitive dysfunction. Evidently smoking disrupts our bodies circadian clock function in the brain and in the lungs.

Smoking and obstructive sleep apnea have also been linked and it is one of the risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea that can be controlled. Other risk factors for sleep apnea that are under our control include:

  • Being overweight – excess flesh in the neck area is a huge indicator for possible sleep apnea.
  • Drinking alcohol before bed – while a nightcap might make you fall asleep easier, alcohol actually disrupts the sleep process and can cause muscles to relax leading to a blockage of the airway during sleep.
  • Sleeping on your back – back sleepers may have fewer facial wrinkles over time but they are much more likely to snore and to stop breathing during sleep. Roll over onto your side and get a better night’s sleep.
  • Using medications to help you sleep – a sleeping pill might help you get to sleep but, once more, these medications can cause the muscles to relax enough to cause airway blockage.

Some of these things are easy to control, like avoiding that glass of wine too close to bedtime. Some are more difficult to achieve, like stopping a smoking habit.  Treating obstructive sleep apnea shouldn’t be difficult or uncomfortable.

Effective and comfortable treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in Toccoa, GA

Many patients who have been prescribed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices to treat their sleep apnea try them once or twice and then put them in the closet. Sleep apnea is a serious problem that has real health consequences if not treated. If you find that you are not able to tolerate your CPAP, you may be a candidate for oral appliance therapy.

Oral appliances used to treat sleep apnea are custom created by a specially trained dentist. Your sleep apnea dentist will work closely with your doctor and adjust your appliance over time to comfortably control your sleep apnea and keep you breathing throughout the night.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to discover whether you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy.

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Category: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), sleep apnea

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