When Steven came into our O’Fallon dentist office, he just happened to mention that he was feeling really worn down and fatigued lately. He explained to our dental team that he had headaches, was snoring throughout the night, and was prone to waking up at least a few time each night. To other dentists, this list may seem to indicate some hard-to-define stress problem. Our dental team, however, recognized many common symptoms of sleep apnea, and pursued this with Steven.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes patients to stop breathing for short periods of time during the night. Basically, patients with sleep apnea suffer from blocked airways when they relax their oral tissues. As a result, these patients record low oxygen levels during sleep.
There are many problems that can indicate sleep apnea. It is important to keep an eye out for these issues; because sleep apnea presents at night, you may otherwise be unaware that you have a treatable disorder.
One of the most glaring symptoms of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Because sleep apnea is characterized by blocked airways, the patient will make a snoring noise as he or she attempts to bring air into his or her lungs.
Another sleep apnea issue that many patients experience is bad breath and dry mouth. This is because airway obstruction hampers your mouth’s ability to produce and distribute odor-neutralizing saliva.
And of course, if you find that you feel tired upon waking and throughout the day, you may be suffering from interrupted REM cycles due to sleep apnea. This can also cause chronic headaches, especially in the morning.
Our O’Fallon sleep apnea dentists were able to diagnose and treat Steven with a sleep apnea mouthpiece, which he wears at night. If you, like Steven, are looking for effective sleep apnea treatment, please feel free to contact our dental team!