Did you know that 22 million people in the US suffer from sleep apnea? And, because this disorder occurs while you’re asleep, it is estimated that 80% of the cases of mild to moderate sleep apnea are undiagnosed. So how do you know if you have sleep apnea? Keep reading to learn whether you need sleep apnea treatment in Dublin and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this disorder.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to repeatedly stop and start. There are various types of this disorder, but the most common is obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when your throat muscles relax, blocking your airway, which causes you to start and stop breathing during sleep. These pauses in breathing can happen sometimes hundreds of times during your sleep without you even being aware of it occurring.
How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?
Because you’re asleep when it happens, you must pay attention to your signs and symptoms to diagnose the problem. There are many symptoms that sleep apnea can cause, but here are some of the most common:
- Loud Snoring
- Episodes where you stop breathing while sleeping (reported by another person)
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Morning headaches
- Daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty paying attention
How Do I Know if I’m At Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Here are some factors that can increase your likelihood of having sleep apnea:
- Excess weight
- Narrowed airway
- Thick neck circumference
- Being male
- Being older
- Nasal congestion
- Alcohol use
- Family history
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Thankfully, your dentist in Dublin has various methods that they can use to treat your sleep apnea and get you back to counting sheep. The most common type of treatment is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine that sends air through a mask to keep you breathing more steadily throughout the night.
Your dentist can also manufacture a custom-made oral appliance to treat your sleep apnea. This mouthguard repositions your tongue and jaw to keep your airway clear for smoother and easier breathing. Sometimes, the best treatment is a combination of both techniques.
Have you or your partner noticed any of the symptoms above? Especially if you have some of the risk factors, get in to see your dentist. They will be able to run a sleep test and give you a proper diagnosis. After that, they’ll be able to provide you with the best treatment for you. Contact your dentist to start feeling well-rested and ready for the day!
Meet the Dentist
A graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Eric Buck brings expert training to every patient that he treats. He takes pride in offering sleep apnea therapy to give his patients a comfortable and relaxing sleep. He currently practices at Distinctive Smiles of Dublin, and he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (614) 792-1800 for any questions.