Sleep apnea affects millions of people in the United States, but many of those who are affected by it don’t yet realize it. Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea, is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing in your sleep. As a result, your body is constantly being forced awake to start breathing again, which prevents you of reaching the deep levels of sleep that your mind and body need to properly rest. While snoring is the main characteristic symptom of sleep apnea, there are others that could warn you it may be time to ask your dentist about receiving a sleep apnea assessment.
How Does Sleep Apnea Happen?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) describes an obstruction in your airway that is usually caused by throat and oral tissues collapsing into the airway as you sleep. This can be caused by abnormally formed oral tissues, or it may be the result of a combination of oral and systemic health factors. The causes vary, and many people ignore their snoring because they think it’s just a benign habit. But, the symptoms of OSA extend beyond snoring, and many affect the quality of your daily life.
Warning Signs to Look Out For
- Daytime exhaustion – As your body constantly fights to breathe, it can’t fall asleep deeply. Eventually, you can begin to feel sleep deprived and constantly exhausted, even though you believe that you’re sleeping soundly throughout the night.
- Sore throat/headaches in the morning – Snoring can tax your throat tissues, and if you have sleep apnea, then you may wake up often with a surprisingly sore throat. The lack of oxygen can also affect your blood circulation, which can lead to chronic headaches and migraines that last long after you wake up.
Find Out if You Exhibit Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Beyond snoring, there are other signs that might warn you of a need to seek sleep apnea treatment. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.