You wake up one day and your throat is parched. You drink some nice cold water and the feeling subsides. You forget about it until it happens the very next morning. And the next. And the next. You start feeling more tired than usual, despite getting the same amount of sleep. What does this mean? You could have sleep apnea. Read more to learn more about why you may need sleep apnea treatment in Sacramento.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
While you sleep, your airway needs to be clear in order for oxygen to reach your brain. When this area is obstructed, you can’t breathe properly. Your brain sends your body into panic mode and wakes you up gasping for air. This cessation of breathing is called sleep apnea.
These episodes may happen up to hundreds of times a night, and you may or may not remember them. They interfere with your ability to reach deep and restful sleep, which is why you feel tired all the time. Sleep apnea can also cause loud snoring, which may bother your bed partner or roommates.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Talk to your dentist or doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Constant tiredness throughout the day
- Waking up choking or gasping
- Sleepiness while driving
- Mood swings or depression
- Morning headaches
Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
You might be at an increased risk for sleep apnea if you:
- Are male
- Are over the age of 50
- Have large tonsils
- Have a large neck circumference
- Consume alcohol before bed
- Are post-menopausal, if female
- Have a small lower jaw
- Have a family history of snoring or sleep apnea
How Can I Get Treated for Sleep Apnea?
There are 2 main options for sleep apnea treatment:
- CPAP machine: This machine feeds a steady stream of air to you through a mask you wear over your nose. This keeps your airway open throughout the night.
- Oral appliance: Your dentist can craft a customize oral appliance that looks a bit like a nightguard. However, instead of preventing damage by grinding, this device gradually shifts your lower jaw forward to open up your airway.
Lack of restful sleep can have seriously detrimental effects on your health. If you think you have or might be at risk for sleep apnea, be sure to contact your dentist or doctor right away.
About the Author
Dr. A. Scott Grivas received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Loma Linda University and opened his own dental practice more than a decade ago. He has also received a Fellowship in the International Dental Implant Association. To learn about how Dr. Grivas can help treat your sleep apnea, contact him at (916)-929-9222.