Sleep apnea can have a very negative impact on your concentration, mood, overall health, and energy levels. That’s right, it doesn’t just disrupt your sleep. If you have ever had someone complain about you choking in your sleep, snorting, or snoring, it could be a definitive sign that you’re dealing with sleep apnea.

Luckily, a good dentist can help you figure out why you’re dealing with this and find a treatment plan to help.

What You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea

Currently, there are roughly 30 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea. However, only one in five has been formally diagnosed. If you’re dealing with sleep apnea, the muscles at the back of your throat are relaxing too much while you sleep.

This then means that the soft tissue at the back of your tongue collapses into the airway. While you can’t suffocate or choke on your tongue because of your brain’s startle response, it can be scary at times. You may not wake up completely. 

Instead, your body will wake up just enough for your muscles to contract so you can suck in a breath of air. This will happen over and over, sometimes up to 30 times every hour. Often, people don’t even realize that they have sleep apnea. 

They simply feel fatigued all the time because your body isn’t achieving a deep sleep cycle. Most people find out that they have sleep apnea because a bed partner gets fed up with their constant snoring, gasping, or snorting.

Sleep Apnea and Dentistry

While your doctor is likely to prescribe a CPAP machine for sleep apnea patients, there are additional options that don’t involve wearing a bulky mask while a machine pushes air down your nasal passages. Many dentists say that positioning the lower jaw forward usually puts enough pressure on the back of your throat to stop it from collapsing.

You can try custom night or snore guards that fits your mouth to keep your jaw at the right angle.

Why You Need to Treat Sleep Apnea

If you can stop sleep apnea episodes every night, you will be able to get better sleep. This way, you won’t feel as fatigued, and you can lower your risk of other health issues. Your partner will also feel far better because they won’t have to listen to your snoring, gasping, and snorting.

If you’re struggling with sleep apnea, contact Pacific Dental Care today to get started with your treatment.