Exploring the Relationship Between Snoring & Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Dentistry
Did you know that by visiting a dentist near you, you can discover a lot about your general health? Dentists are medical experts that specialize in oral health care. However, they can do more than diagnose dental problems. Given a chance, your dentist in Boca Raton, FL, can detect and diagnose other general health problems, including sleep apnea.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
It is a sleeping disorder that causes difficulty in breathing when you sleep. Technically, the breathing airways are obstructed every time you sleep, which limits sufficient airflow in and out of your body. Such difficulties in breathing cause short spans of not breathing, which disrupt sleep. Therefore, people with obstructive sleep apnea keep waking up in the middle of their sleep, usually gasping for air to catch their breath.
According to Dr. Mervat M. Alattar, obstructive sleep apnea is a manageable condition. However, it can also be life-threatening, depending on how long you stop breathing when you sleep. If you stop breathing for several seconds to minutes, then you will have insufficient oxygen traveling to crucial areas of your body like your heart and brain. As such, the consequences of low oxygen supply in your body will be dire, posing a threat to your life.
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring during sleep is not always a laughable matter. Sometimes, you may be suffering from sleep apnea, given that snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. However, it is not to say that all people who snore in their sleep have sleep apnea. You would need a diagnosis by a Boca Raton dentist or sleep doctor near you to determine this for sure. The only time where snoring should be considered an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea is when it is accompanied by other symptoms like:
- Loud snoring – enough to disrupt other people in their sleep
- Gasping for air at night
- Chocking frequently when you sleep
- Sore throat in the morning
- Chest pain at night
- Restlessness at night
- A feeling of excessive thirst in the morning
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Headaches – which particularly happen in the morning
- High blood pressure
When you visit a dentist in 33486 for a sleep apnea diagnosis, you will learn that the type of snoring that should be worrisome is that which is loud, then followed by periods of not breathing. When you stop breathing, even for a few seconds, your body will automatically respond. This is where other symptoms like gasping for breath and waking up severally during the night are evident.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
This sleeping disorder is actually caused by respiratory problems in your system. Technically, it results due to excessive relaxation of the muscles in the back of your throat. This relaxation then narrows or closes your airways, hence preventive effective breathing. Ideally, the muscles in question are responsible for supporting different features in your mouth, including the roof of your mouth, the tonsils, the tongue, and the uvula. When the support system for these features is affected, your breathing will not be normal. Since most of the features involved are in your oral cavity, it makes sense that a dentist near you is capable of detecting and diagnosis obstructive sleep apnea.
How Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Can Be Life-Threatening
Obstructive sleep apnea is not always life-threatening unless it becomes a chronic condition. If the periods you stop breathing are not too long, then you may not suffer many critical consequences from sleep apnea. Unfortunately, when it comes to inhaling oxygen, many aspects of your body are at stake. Therefore, you need to seek treatment early to ensure that all parts of your body receive the appropriate amount of oxygen to keep them healthy and fully functional. Some severe consequences of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Arrhythmias – that is, abnormal heart rhythms
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
- Eye problems like glaucoma
- Mood swings and feelings of depression
- Memory problems, to mention a few