Sleep apnea is a condition that inhibits your breathing during slumber, often hundreds of times a night. Although millions of people in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, the condition is frequently undiagnosed, eventually leading to serious health risks. If you suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
Even though it mostly affects the respiratory system, nearly all of sleep apnea’s causes are dental in nature. If you live in the downtown Fort Worth area and think that you or a loved one may suffer from sleep apnea, contact Museum Smiles today online or at 817-870-5099 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheri Audu. We welcome patients from Arlington and Keller, Texas.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of sleep apnea, occurs when an airway closure in your throat inhibits your breathing during sleep. Several physical factors can cause this dangerous blockage:
- The size of the tongue, tonsils, uvula and neck
- The muscles in the tongue and throat relaxing too much
- Your sleeping position
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Since sleep apnea occurs during slumber, it is a condition that is rarely self-diagnosed. The majority of sleep apnea symptoms are first identified by a patient’s sleeping partner. This can happen when a patient’s snoring keeps the partner awake or when the partner notices when the patient occasionally stops breathing. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth
- Waking up to a choking feeling
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
Health Risks of Sleep Apnea
Snoring is the main symptom of sleep apnea. While most people may consider snoring to be simply a minor nuisance, sleep apnea can cause significant consequences to your long-term health if left untreated.
People with sleep apnea are at increased risk for dangerous health conditions such as:
- Heart attack
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- High blood pressure
- Periodontal (gum) disease
Sleep apnea is also linked to conditions such as alcoholism and obesity. Treating these conditions can sometimes help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. However, directly treating your sleep apnea can be one of the most important steps you can take to achieving greater overall well-being. A good night’s rest is critical to long-term health, and you won’t feel fully rejuvenated if your body spends the entire night struggling for breath.
Schedule Your Sleep Apnea Consultation Today
Just like our Fort Worth patients, each case of sleep apnea is unique. The treatment that best suits your condition will be determined by Dr. Audu. In many circumstances, an intra-oral appliance helps to advance the position of the lower jaw to effectively address mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Sometimes treatment options such as a CPAP machine or surgery are most appropriate.
For more information about sleep apnea treatment, please contact Museum Smiles today by completing the form on this page or calling 817-870-5099 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Audu. Our Fort Worth location happily serves patients from Keller and Arlington, Texas.