If you are having a tough time staying awake at work, while you are driving, or watching TV, you may wonder what that has to do with dentistry. The fact is, you may be tired because you are suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that many dentists can help diagnose and treat, including the dentists at Modern Dentistry of Shrewsbury. So, if you are having a tough time staying awake, read on to find out if you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your mouth called your soft palate, and your throat tissues obstruct your breathing while you sleep. A slight obstruction will simply generate the noise we call snoring. However, a complete obstruction is classified as sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, this obstruction causes you to temporarily stop breathing, causing your brain to signal your body to wake up and begin breathing again. This can happen hundreds of times a night, but the awakenings are so brief, you are usually totally unaware of them. This constant disruption of your sleep cycle can lead to daytime symptoms, one of which is having a tough time staying awake during the day. Other symptoms can include poor daily concentration, irritability, morning headaches, and sore throat upon wakening.
Nighttime symptoms of sleep apnea include loud, excessive snoring, and waking up choking or gasping throughout the night. Although a major symptom of sleep apnea is chronic snoring, everyone who snores does not have sleep apnea.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
If you suffer from the above symptoms, you can find out whether or not you have sleep apnea by contacting Dr. Pizzi and Dr. Mehdi for a diagnosis. If you do have sleep apnea, treatment consists of Herbst or Moses oral appliances, which are custom-fit mouthpieces fabricated from soft plastic that help keep your airway open for a good night’s rest.