Are you aware of the risks associated with sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a common, yet severe oral health condition in which your breathing patterns are interrupted while you sleep. Sleep apnea is a severe condition because if it is left untreated, it can lead to numerous health problems including depression, heart failure, high blood pressure, and stroke. It is important to be aware of the causes of sleep apnea and what you can do to treat it:
Obstructive sleep apnea arises when you have an actual blockage in your airways.
Central sleep apnea arises when brain signals sent to the breathing muscles are not adequately received.
You could be at an increased risk for sleep apnea if you are a male over the age of 40. Furthermore, obesity is also a known risk factor.
Other common risk factors for sleep apnea include a family history of the condition, nasal obstructions such as a deviated septum, large tonsils, allergy or sinus problems, a large tongue or a small jaw.
Various treatments that can be used to help reverse sleep apnea include adjusting your sleeping habits and the position in which you sleep. Furthermore, continuous positive air pressure devices, also known as CPAPs, are used to help improve breathing while you sleep. Oral appliances can often be used as well to help correct the alignment of your jaw and provide support for your airway to prevent it from collapsing.
In some instances, surgery may be the best option to open up your airway as needed.
Are you suffering from sleep apnea? If so, stop by our office in Seattle, Washington. You are welcome to schedule an appointment at McKay Center for Cosmetic and General Dentistry by calling us at . Dr. Daniel McKay, DDS looks forward to keeping your oral health in pristine condition.
Written by Daniel McKay, DDS
Dr. McKay is the dentist for the Seattle University athletics department. He is also a proud fellow of the International Dental Implant Association. Since 1993, Dr. McKay has established himself as one of the finest dentists in Seattle with praise from his patients and respect from his colleagues.