Do you snore loudly while sleeping? Do you ever wake up startled in the middle of the night? Does your partner complain about you waking up constantly throughout the night?
You may be suffering from a condition known as sleep apnea. While sleeping, the soft tissue of areas like the throat, sinuses, and mouth can collapse. This blocks off the airways, which can occur for a few seconds or up to a minute. Not getting oxygen for prolonged periods of time is obviously very dangerous and in rare cases can even lead to fatalities.
There are many methods for treating obstructive sleep apnea, depending on the severity. A visit to a sleep doctor is in order to get to the bottom of the issue, but your dentist can also provide a simple mouth guard that is very effective in preventing the collapse of the soft tissue. The sleep apnea treatment works by putting your jaw in a more desirable position. By doing so, the soft tissue in the throat is held in an open position that allows for continued oxygen flow while sleeping.
Because sleep determines so much of our overall health, allowing sleep apnea to linger can become very dangerous. In addition, since the sufferer is often waking up throughout the night, these risks can also affect your family members who may also be waking up when you do. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to increased risk of: