Guide To Sleep Apnea – Everything You Should Know About It

Guide To Sleep Apnea – Everything You Should Know About It

Feb 15, 2022

When dentists insist on regular dental visits, it is not just for the sake of your teeth. Dentists are also qualified to evaluate your general body health and diagnose various health problems including, diabetes and sleeping disorders like sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

It is a sleeping disorder that affects the respiratory system that you have difficulty breathing well when you sleep. Sleep apnea is a fairly common disease, even though very few people know that they live with the condition. Usually, the patient stops breathing for a few seconds or minutes when sleeping. Sleep apnea can be mild or severe depending on the frequency of pauses in your breathing rhythm.
While there is no particular cause of sleep apnea, many risk factors range from aging to poor lifestyle choices like excessive drinking and smoking.

How To Find Out That You Have Sleep Apnea

Are you always feeling tired in the morning, even after enjoying what is supposedly a good night’s sleep? It could be that you are suffering from sleep apnea, a notorious condition that disrupts healthy sleeping at night. Sleep apnea is not an easy disease to detect by yourself. The initial step you should take when you suspect sleep apnea is to visit a dentist for a diagnosis. Aside from that, you can consider the symptoms typical of sleep apnea.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea manifests different symptoms, depending on the severity level. The common identifiers of sleep apnea are:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring at night – enough to disrupt your partner’s sleep.
  • Morning headaches
  • Being thirsty in the morning – characterized by a dry mouth and throat
  • Gasping for air repeatedly during sleep
  • Fatigue and tiredness during the day
  • Disrupted sleep patterns

Sleep Apnea – Diagnosis and Treatment

When it comes to diagnosing this sleep disorder, only a sleep apnea dentist near you. At All American Dental, one of our dentists will evaluate your condition based on the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as your sleeping history. Part of the tests necessary to evaluate your sleeping disorder involves an overnight monitoring session to analyze your sleeping patterns and behaviors when you sleep. From there, the dentist will recommend appropriate treatment options. Depending on the severity of your sleeping disorder, your dentist may recommend sleep apnea treatment without CPAP. Some treatment options include:

  • Losing weight – when you are overweight, breathing can be difficult, especially when you lie down. Your dentist may recommend losing weight to maintain a healthy lifestyle that will promote good quality sleep.
  • Lifestyle adjustments – you should change your everyday life, including quitting smoking and cutting down your alcohol intake.
  • Changing your sleeping posture and position – sometimes how you position your head relative to the rest of your body can affect your breathability at night. Adjusting your sleeping position and posture can alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea. It makes a difference if you sleep on your side or abdomen instead of sleeping on your back.
  • Nightguard – is a mouth protector that helps keep your jaw open enough when you sleep, improving breathability.
  • Surgery – is done to manage sleep apnea in cases where other treatment options do not work well.

Does It Matter If Sleep Apnea is Untreated?

Many people have lived with sleep apnea for a prolonged period without knowing about it. Mild cases of sleep apnea are manageable without treatment. However, some cases of sleep apnea require treatment to prevent critical health problems. Some consequences of leaving sleep apnea untreated are:

  • Frequent moods swings and irritability
  • Depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Type II diabetes
  • Insomnia
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks and heart failures
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)-sleep apnea has been known to worsen symptoms of GERD and heartburn.


Although it is highly unlikely that you could die in your sleep due to sleep apnea, the disorder can be life-threatening, more so when left untreated. Chronic sleep apnea will have critical consequences on your health, potentially leaving you with terminal conditions that need long-term treatment.

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