If you’re asking yourself:
“How do I know if I have sleep apnea? What are the warning signs?”
Take our quick sleep apnea quiz below to find out if you’re experiencing the classic symptoms of sleep apnea.
Before you jump to the quiz in the next section, let’s review what sleep apnea is.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to:
- Stop breathing while sleeping for up to 30 seconds at a time throughout the night
- Wake up snorting or gasping for air
- Repeat this process hundreds of times per night without remembering it
- Wake up in the morning with fatigue from lack of rest
This results in oxygen deprivation, which can lead to:
- Migraine headaches
- Falling asleep while driving
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Many other issues
Some people don’t realize they have sleep apnea because it doesn’t wake them during the night. So, the question is, do you have it?
We’ll discuss the causes and consequences of sleep apnea later, but let’s get to the quiz!
Take our sleep apnea quiz
This yes-or-no quiz can start to direct your attention to the warning signs of sleep apnea.
How did you do?
If you notice two or more of these warning signs, book a sleep apnea consultation at Uptown Dental and Wellness Center.
What causes sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea falls into two major categories:
In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a physical blockage cuts off airflow. For example, your tongue or soft palate might relax in sleep, narrowing or closing your airway.
OSA often occurs as people age and the shape of the neck, throat, or jaw changes. It is the most common type of sleep apnea.
In central sleep apnea, there is an interruption in the signals from your brain telling your body to breathe. This is very uncommon, but it is sometimes caused by other issues, such as heart problems or stroke.
Does sleep apnea go away?
You might be tempted to wait and see if sleep apnea goes away on its own. But sleep apnea is usually ongoing because it is caused by factors that do not go away, such as:
- Your tongue size
- Narrowing nasal passageways (as you age)
- A deviated nasal septum
- Overall weight gain
- Large tonsils
- Neck size
Many of these factors remain the same when you reach adulthood, which means sleep apnea will only improve if your dentist or doctor intervenes.
How do you treat sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is often treated with a CPAP machine or a small, customized dental appliance that fits over the teeth. Here’s how each works:
- CPAP: This is a mask that fits over the nose and mouth and connects to a sophisticated pump. It pushes air past an obstruction and helps the patient breathe.
- Dental Appliance: A custom mouth guard gently moves the jaw into a better position. This opens the airway, allowing you to breathe throughout the night and without snoring.
We often see patients who have a CPAP and can’t stand it. They sometimes even remove it while they sleep, suffering oxygen deprivation during the crucial last three to four hours of sleep.
At Uptown Dental and Wellness Center, we will:
- Discuss your symptoms and signs of sleep apnea
- We can help you get a sleep study
- Discuss treatment options with you
- Empower you to make the final decision
What are the consequences of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is connected with:
- Loud snoring: Keeps partners and children awake
- Morning headaches and other pains: Includes trembling muscles and fatigue
- Weight gain: Caused by hormone disruption and lowered motivation to exercise
- Loss of concentration: Includes poor memory, creativity, and decision-making
- Mood problems: Irritability, unstable moods, and depression
- Involuntary sleep: Falling asleep while driving, working, or operating machinery
- Heart disease: Linked to heart attacks, unusual heart rhythms, and high blood pressure
- Liver disease: Linked to liver scarring and abnormal functions
- Diabetes: Hormone problems caused by poor sleep sometimes leads to diabetes
- Adverse reactions: Results in harmful reactions to anesthesia and some medications
- Surgery complications: Airway obstructions are very dangerous during surgery
- Metabolic syndrome: A combination of issues, which may lead to stroke or heart attack
If you need sleep apnea treatment, talk to our dentist in Gig Harbor, WA
Take the quiz above if you’re suffering from fatigue, headaches, and related issues. Then, set up an appointment at Uptown Dental and Wellness Center.
Dr. Rhonda Savage is experienced in treating sleep apnea. It’s good to know your choices!
Visit our comfortable, high-end facility, and get restful sleep again.
- Call us at (253) 857-0835
Uptown Dental and Wellness Center is located in Gig Harbor, WA, and we’re proud to serve nearby communities, including Port Orchard and Tacoma.