Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep due to abnormally large or over-relaxed oral tissues blocking the airway. It can affect anyone in any age group, including children, and since it doesn’t typically wake the patient from sleep, many people with sleep apnea are unaware of their condition. If your sleeping partner hasn’t already pointed out your excessive snoring—a common indication of sleep apnea—then you might discover the problem through its many other symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?
Loud, almost exaggerated snoring patterns are the most dominant symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Because obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) involves the obstruction of your airway, all patients who suffer from OSA snore; although not all patients who snore suffer from OSA. To help clarify if your snoring is a sign of something more complicated, additional symptoms of sleep apnea may include;
- A sore or dry throat upon waking up
- Waking with a sensation of choking or gasping
- Daytime fatigue; difficulty staying awake throughout the day
- Restlessness at night
- Mood changes, and/or unusual irritability
Besides disturbing your sleeping partner with the noise of your snoring, OSA can also pose a serious threat to your overall wellbeing if the condition remains untreated.
Why Sleep Apnea Can Be Bad
Because sleep apnea inhibits the flow of oxygen to your brain and body, it can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health, and is a significant risk factor for a number of serious health issues, such as;
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Diabetes (Type 2)
What Are My Treatment Options?
Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea often depends on its severity. For mild to moderate cases, Dr. Pizzi and Dr. Messina may recommend a custom-designed sleepguard, much like a mouthguard worn by athletes. The appliance helps keep your airway open while you sleep to prevent blockage from oral tissues, and may serve as a more comfortable alternative to a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. In severe cases, oral surgery may be required to correct overly abnormal oral structures.
ABOUT YOUR SHREWSBURY COSMETIC DENTISTS:
At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.