Your Dentist in Birmingham, AL, Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common yet potentially serious sleep disorder that affects approximately 10 percent of women and 25 percent of men in the United States. People of any age can develop sleep apnea, including infants. However, the sleep disorder is most common in people over age 40 and those who are significantly overweight.
Other Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea
People with a large neck and certain structural abnormalities of the jaw and throat have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. These factors include:
- Certain neuromuscular diseases
- Certain pulmonary and cardiac diseases
- Enlarged tonsils
- Heart failure
- Low-hanging soft palate
- Nasal obstruction
- Overbite resulting from having a small jaw
- Previous stroke
Keep in mind that you won’t necessarily develop sleep apnea even if you have several risk factors.
Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
When the soft tissue situated near the rear of the throat collapses during sleep, it causes people to momentarily wake up gasping for air. The incident may only last for a few seconds and be so brief that you don’t remember it in the morning. Here are the most common symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating, irritability, and/or forgetfulness
- Feeling restless during sleep
- Night sweats
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sore throat and/or dry mouth when waking up in the morning
The effects of sleep apnea often impact the bed partner as much as the person afflicted with it. If you have trouble remembering any episodes or symptoms the next morning, be sure to ask your partner to fill you in on the details.
Standard Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Alabama
Most people visit a doctor rather than a dentist when they struggle with symptoms of sleep apnea. Doctors typically prescribe a CPAP machine that keeps the airways open as you sleep. Unfortunately, the machine is rather large and cumbersome, making it difficult for you to get comfortable at night and nearly impossible to share a bed with a partner.
We take a different approach at the dental practice of Albritton & Ardovino by prescribing a dental sleep apnea appliance instead. You wear the device only at night, and our dental laboratory creates it specifically for the size and shape of your mouth. Please contact us today to learn more about treatment for sleep apnea in Alabama.
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