The Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, from Des Moines Dentist

losing sleepYou might not naturally think of visiting your dentist to seek help with a sleep disorder, but Des Moines dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds, has helped many of our patients find relief from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Once you realize that your sleep is being affected, you may have a number of options for treating your condition and sleeping better. Unfortunately, if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you may not even realize that you are losing sleep until the consequences of sleep deprivation begin to affect your life. The excessive snoring that indicates sleep apnea can disturb your partner enough to motivate the search for a solution, but if you sleep alone, the following tips may hint that there’s a problem.

Losing Sleep without Realizing It             

Obstructive sleep apnea describes a condition in which the tissues in your mouth and throat relax and block your airway when you sleep. Snoring is the sound of air trying to squeeze past these compressed tissues, and during an apnic episode, your breathing ceases as the tissues compress completely. After about ten seconds or more, your brain panics and wakes your body enough to begin breathing again, but not enough to rouse you from consciousness. This cycle can repeat itself hundreds of times a night, depriving your mind and body of much-needed deep sleep. In most cases, sleep apnea can be treated with an oral appliance that, when worn at night, can help keep your jaw positioned forward to prevent airway blockage.

It Might Be Sleep Apnea If…

While you might not be aware of your snoring, you may recognize the signs of sleep deprivation more easily. If you experience the following symptoms, but believe that you are sleeping soundly throughout the night, then you may be suffering from sleep apnea.

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Poor stress management
  • Foggy vision
  • Changes in appetite
  • Impaired concentration/cognitive function

Find Relief from Sleep Apnea in Des Moines

If you believe you may have sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with your Des Moines dentist by calling Gateway Dental Group at (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.