Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you’ve only slept half the night? That may actually be true if you have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea causes you to wake up numerous times while you’re trying to sleep. The most common reason for sleep apnea is a blocked upper airway. This blockage happens as the tissue at the back of your throat closes or almost closes during sleep. You aren’t getting enough oxygen, so you wake up gasping for breath anywhere from 5-30+ times hour.
Health complications of sleep apnea
If you’re always tired because of poor sleep, and you pass up opportunities for activities you’d normally engage in, you’re certainly not living your best life. Your health takes a hit, too.
To give you an idea of the problems sleep apnea may cause, our team at Marina Landing Family Dentistry pulled together some information on the topic. We’d like to share this list of complications from sleep apnea that can have a direct impact on your health:
Type 2 diabetes
Your body may not be able to use insulin properly when you don’t get enough sleep, causing your blood sugar levels to rise. Over time, you can become diabetic. It’s thought that a majority of people with Type 2 diabetes likely have sleep apnea.
High blood pressure
When your rest is interrupted constantly, hormones that boost blood pressure flood your system. In addition, your arteries may not receive enough oxygen as you gasp for breath repeatedly — another reason your blood pressure becomes abnormally high.
Sleep apnea raises your risk for a heart attack, possibly because your body isn’t taking in oxygen normally or consistently for hours at a time. Strokes and atrial fibrillation are also associated with sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can contribute to obesity, which makes the apnea worse — a vicious circle. Obesity can result in too much fat in your tongue and neck that narrows the airway in your throat, making it hard to catch your breath. Abdominal fat can also restrict oxygen entering and leaving the lungs as you sleep. If you’re obese, your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes increases significantly.
Increased accident risk
If you have sleep apnea, you’re about five times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than others. When your sleep is constantly compromised, you’re putting yourself and your loved ones at risk when you drive.
Economic and medical costs
Let’s face it, sleep apnea negatively affects your overall health and can lead to serious chronic diseases. The medical costs can really add up. And studies indicate that people with sleep apnea are 10 times more likely to end up claiming work disability.
Dental solutions for sleep apnea
It’s not all bad news though, as today’s dental technology has solutions for your sleep apnea. If you’ve received this diagnosis from your doctor, Dr. Dharia can offer you a dental device that helps restore your sleep.
This special mouthguard can hold your jaw in a position that keeps your airway open to help you breathe normally while you sleep. It may also depress your tongue so that it can’t block your airway. Your dental appliance is custom-fitted to your mouth for comfort.
When you use a dental appliance to treat sleep apnea, you’ll be amazed at the difference in your energy level, mood, and outlook. When you wake up feeling rested and ready for the day, you’ll have the appropriate amount of energy to accomplish your goals. You’ll not only feel better, but your partner likely will also.
You don’t have to endure another night without restful sleep. Call our office in Alameda, California, or book an appointment online to see if a dental solution could improve your sleep.