You may have heard the term "sleep apnea" from time to time. You might also realize that it is some type of sleep disorder. However, how much do you know about sleep apnea? How do you know if you even have it? What can we here at A Smiling Heart Dentistry do to help you if you have sleep apnea? Here are the answers to those questions and more.
What is Sleep Apnea?
One of the first things that we need to discuss is what sleep apnea is all about. Then we can talk about what can be done for someone who has it.
As already mentioned, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. While it is much more complex than this, the simple explanation is that someone with sleep apnea will stop breathing while they sleep. He or she will usually wake up immediately and start breathing again. One of the problems if you have sleep apnea is that you will not be able to get into a normal sleep cycle. Your body needs to reach different levels of sleep to be truly rested, and with sleep apnea that will not happen.
There are many different causes of sleep apnea. One of the most common is that the tissue in your mouth is not formed properly. There could also be an obstruction to breathing in the back of your throat as well. Teeth grinding at night and sleep apnea sometimes will go hand in hand.
How are you supposed to know if you have sleep apnea if it happens while you are asleep? There are signs to look for. One of the main signs is that a person with sleep apnea is tired all of the time, even after getting a full night's sleep. Never remembering your dreams could be another sign, since you will not get into a deep enough sleep to dream. Often people with sleep apnea snore loudly. Your spouse can tell you if you sometimes gasp for breath when you sleep. These all could point to sleep apnea.
If you have sleep apnea, there are different ways that we might treat it. Often, we will start with a mouth guard when you sleep. It is a simple device that you will put into your mouth and clamp down on when you go to bed. That will help you to keep your mouth in the desired position and could help you to sleep. Often someone with sleep apnea will get relief with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. In some cases, we might recommend surgery to remove or rearrange tissue in your mouth that is blocking your airway.
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If you always feel tired, even after you have had a good night's sleep several days in a row, we want to know about it. Here at A Smiling Heart Dentistry, we have helped countless others to finally be able to sleep like a baby, and we want to be able to help you as well. Call (425) 558-9998 and set up an appointment. We want to help you sleep and feel better.