May 16, 2018
Sleep apnea is something that affects nearly 18 million Americans, many of whom don’t even realize there is a treatable condition behind their chronic fatigue. Are you one of the millions of people dealing with undiagnosed sleep apnea? If you snore and have trouble getting through the day without feeling like you’re going to fall asleep, chances are good that the answer is yes. Keep reading to learn more about what that means — and how to treat it.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
The most common type of sleep apnea is OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when the airway is partially or completely constricted during sleep, blocking the proper flow of air. A person dealing with OSA may wake hundreds of times throughout the course of the night — but often, they do not remember these brief moments of wakefulness the next morning. This can make identifying the cause of chronic fatigue difficult.
Sleep apnea can be caused by a number of factors, including the following:
- Being overweight or obese — the most common cause of sleep apnea
- Older age
- Deviated septum
- Having small throat/narrow airway
- Heavy drinking or tobacco use, especially before bed
- The use of certain medications affecting sleep
What Are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?
You or a loved one may be suffering from OSA if you notice these symptoms:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Frequent waking throughout the night (usually observed by partner)
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Difficulty completing daytime tasks
Do not delay seeking a professional’s opinion if you suspect you are dealing with sleep apnea. Left untreated, this condition has been linked to heart failure, mood disorders, and even premature death.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
It may surprise you to learn that your dentist can offer treatment for sleep apnea — but considering that they are experts in oral and facial anatomy, it makes sense that a dentist is highly qualified to provide therapy for the muscles controlling breath during sleep.
Dr. Preetha Thomas offers oral appliance therapy — it’s an alternative to the traditional CPAP, which may be too cumbersome or noisy for some patients. By comparison, oral appliance therapy is small, portable, and, perhaps best of all, silent.
If you are suffering from the exhausting side effects of sleep apnea, don’t wait another day to get started with the relief you need. Because everyone deserves the rest and relaxation of a full night’s sleep!
Meet Your Holistic Dentist
Dr. Preetha Thomas is the holistic dentist Southlake trusts for whole-health focused care. If you have recently received a diagnosis for sleep apnea, we invite you to contact the office to learn more about how you can find relief from this common condition. Call us today at 817-912-1218!
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