Sleep apnea is a significant health issue that affects millions of Americans. However, The Dental Anesthesia Center can help!
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but many more go undiagnosed. Therefore, sleep apnea has become a significant health issue. It also means that no matter how many healthy sleep habits they practice, those with this condition still experience poor-quality sleep.
Another sleeping disorder associated with sleep apnea is teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Many don’t know that teeth grinding is often a symptom caused by undiagnosed sleep apnea.
For over 30 years, our team at the Dental Anesthesia Center has been using cutting-edge technology and top-of-the-line sleep dentistry to help all kinds of patients improve their oral health, which in turn improves their overall health. For patients with snoring or sleep apnea in St. Louis, we have solutions to help stop snoring.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by abnormal breathing during sleep. It causes the individual to have multiple extended pauses in breathing while sleeping. These momentary breathing lapses affect the body’s supply of oxygen which can lead to potentially serious health issues.
It is one of the most common sleep disorders, and because of its prevalence and potential health impact, it’s essential to recognize the symptoms and causes.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a complicated condition as multiple factors have been found to increase the risk. Some of the common causes include:
- The size and positioning of an individual’s neck, jaw, tongue, tonsils, and other tissue near the back of the throat.
- Obesity is a leading cause and may be an underlying factor in up to 60% of cases. Being overweight contributes to the anatomical narrowing of the airway.
- The use of sedatives and alcohol can cause tissues in the throat to relax, obstructing the airway.
- Smoking cigarettes, especially heavy smokers, are more likely to experience sleep apnea.
- Sleeping on your back makes it easier for tissue to collapse around the airway and cause blockages.
- Congestion makes it difficult for people to breathe through their nose.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is often challenging to detect. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Snoring loudly
- Being tired even after a whole night’s sleep
- Insomnia – trouble staying asleep
- Waking up with sore throat, dry mouth, or headache
- Waking up at night gasping or with shortness of breath
- Waking up to go to the bathroom often
- Issues with attention, concentration, and memory
- Mood swings and heightened irritability
Sleep Apnea Treatment in St. Louis
Some patients can treat their sleep apnea by adjusting their sleeping habits, such as not sleeping on their backs. Others might need CPAPs (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) devices, which help supply air through the nasal passages during sleep.
If you have snoring or sleep apnea problems that you want to find a solution for, The Dental Anesthesia Center in St. Louis is here to help. We look forward to meeting you and working to provide you with better sleep!
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The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.