Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that affects approximately 18 million adults in the United States and a good percentage of children. It can lead to serious side effects which most people do not know about.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects breathing patterns while sleeping. It is typically caused by obstruction of the airway during sleep.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can cause a wide range of side effects, including loud snoring, daytime tiredness, and even high blood pressure. Not everyone who snores does have the sleeping disorder, so its best to get it checked with a professional.
While sleep apnea itself is rarely (if ever) fatal, it has several undesirable side effects and some of these are serious. The disorder can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Repeated heart attacks
- Repeated heart failures
- Repeated strokes
The cardiovascular issues that occur with sleep apnea are most common in individuals who are already suffering or predisposed to these problems. Sleep apnea doesn’t necessarily cause these issues, but it can exacerbate any cardiovascular problems that are already present.
People who have sleep apnea are frequently tired even when they get an adequate number of hours of sleep. Since their sleep is continually interrupted, they’re unable to get sufficient deep and restful sleep. Having a sleeping disorder can cause someone to lose sleep as well as other serious issues which could end up being more serious. Since it falls under medical conditions, it might be best to talk to your medical doctor as well Drs. Jacy and Arianna Papasikos about what can be done to fix this issue.
If you’ve noticed that you’re constantly having issues with your breathing and it’s interfering with your sleep then it could be a sign of sleep apnea. If you’ve also been told that you snore very loudly then that also could be another sign. But just because someone snores loudly doesn’t necessarily mean that they suffer from sleep apnea but if you don’t have other signs in addition to loud snoring then it might be best to get checked out. Another reason why you could be suffering from sleep apnea is due to orthodontic issues such as the misalignment of teeth or issues with your dental arch. Also with some patients, their airway can get blocked because of issues with their throat muscle which can make breathing difficult especially when lying down to sleep.
When you come into our Montclair office, Drs. Jacy and Arianna Papasikos will examine your mouth to see what issue could be causing the problem. Based on your teeth, they will talk to you about the different types of dental appliances that could be beneficial for you. Based on what they notice with your teeth and your overall mouth they might suggest braces or Invisalign aligners to help straighten out misaligned teeth. Once your teeth become aligned it moves teeth into their proper positions allowing the airway to be cleared and you to breathe properly.
In some cases, braces and aligners won’t do the job and that’s when palate expanders might be able to help instead. This appliance is used to help widen the area in your upper jaw which can also help to clear your airway making it easier to breathe. The last option that is available is called a mandibular advancement splint which is like a custom-fitted brace that helps to adjust the alignment of the jaw. Once the jaw is aligned it helps to clear a path for your airways and help you breathe better when you’re sleeping.
Healthy sleep is important for a good mindset and a happy you so don’t let obstructive sleep apnea spoil your nights. Please call (973.744.2511) the office of Drs. Jacy and Arianna Papasikos about orthodontic care so we can work with you to treat your sleep apnea and get you sleeping peacefully every night.