Is Sleep Apnea a Risk to Your Long-Term Health?
Are you one of the millions of people who live with sleep apnea?
Apnea is defined as a cessation in breathing, and when it occurs during sleep, we refer to it as sleep apnea. Over 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with approximately 80 percent of moderate to severe cases going undiagnosed.
Why Sleep Apnea is a Serious Problem
As you fall asleep, the muscles and soft tissue in your throat relax. In sleep apnea patients, this completely obstructs the airway. Your body is deprived of oxygen and struggles to wake you up to breathe. This is often characterized by a loud snorting or gasping sound as you finally catch a breath.
This cycle can occur hundreds of times during the night and leave you exhausted during the day, though you may not realize the reason for your fatigue.
As a result, your productivity drops, it’s difficult to concentrate, and you may become easily irritated with co-workers or loved ones. Worse yet, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that those with sleep apnea are two and a half times more likely to be the driver in a motor vehicle accident.
Risks to Your Long-Term Health
Restful sleep is essential for your general health. Without sufficient quality sleep, functioning fully during the day is difficult and can also lead to long-term oral health problems:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty fighting infections
Getting Control of Sleep Apnea
Until recently, the only solution for sleep apnea patients was a CPAP mask. However, many people don’t wear it as prescribed because they find the mask uncomfortable.
But state-of-the-art sleep apnea treatment at our Metairie, LA dental office may be the answer you need to manage the problem. At Oak Family Dental, we offer comfortable, non-invasive treatment using a small oral device that positions your jaw slightly forward while you sleep, opening up your airway so you can breathe freely.
If you are seeing signs of sleep apnea in yourself or a loved one, please arrange an appointment with one of our doctors to be evaluated for one of these devices.