Sleep Apnea Dentist Salt Lake City

What is sleep apnea?

If you’ve had troubles breathing normally when trying to sleep, you may have sleep apnea.  It is a serious sleep disorder that interrupts your breathing during sleep.  If you have a case of sleep apnea that isn’t being treated, you may briefly stop breathing with regularity throughout the night – obviously making it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep.  If you have sleep apnea, a good sleep apnea dentist can provide some excellent solutions.

Obstructive sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea Salt Lake CityThere are two primary kinds of sleep apnea: central and obstructive.  Obstructive sleep apnea is more the more common variety and occurs when you experience either partial or complete blockage of your upper airway repeatedly while sleeping.  Your body will naturally fight the inability to properly breathe, resulting in your chest and diaphragm muscles working much harder as pressure rises to open up the airway.  The episode generally reaches a peak and ends with a body jerk or gasp of air when the airway has been fully opened again.

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea has nothing to do with blocked airways, but rather a lapse in communication between the brain and breathing muscles.  Due to instability in the respiratory control center, the brain fails to signal to the muscles to breathe.  Central apnea gets its name because it is directly related to the function of the central nervous system.

Who is at risk of sleep apnea?

In short, everyone is at risk to some extent.  Sleep apnea can affect people of any age, including children and babies.  Men are more at risk than women to suffer from sleep apnea, and chances of being impacted by the condition go up with age.

There are some physical traits and characteristics that are common in sleep apnea patients:

  • Large neck
  • Being severely overweight
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Small jaw with an overbite

What’s the cause of sleep apnea?

As previously discussed, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway is blocked.  This typically happens when soft tissue in the back of the throat has collapsed while sleeping.  If a patient has had central nervous system dysfunction (such as a stroke, heart failure, etc.), they will be closely monitored for sleep apnea disorder.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea

The symptoms of sleep apnea are frequently recognized by a partner as opposed to the affected individual.  There are many symptoms to look for if you suspect either your or your partner to be suffering:

  • Fatigue or drowsiness during the day
  • Regular snoring
  • Anxiety or depression (along with other mood irregularities)
  • Regular headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating and/or forgetfulness
  • Frequent and sudden awakenings during the night (often accompanied by gasping or choking)
  • Sore throat and/or dry mouth in the morning
  • Night sweats

Common symptoms in children

Getting children to talk to you and fully express and describe their sleeping problems and other issues can be difficult.  Here are some signs to look for when observing your child:

  • Excessive nighttime sweating
  • Regular bedwetting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathing almost exclusively from the mouth
  • Poor performance in the classroom
  • Sleepiness or sluggishness
  • Behavioral disorders (such as ADD, ADHD, etc.)
  • Abnormal sleeping positions

What are the risks of sleep apnea?

If your or your loved one’s sleep apnea goes untreated, it can cause a variety of more serious health issues, such as:

  • Stroke
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Arrhythmias
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart failure

Other than strictly medical, sleep apnea can create many problems in personal relationships, work performance, operating automobiles, and overall happiness and life satisfaction.

How can I know if I suffer from sleep apnea?

If you fear that you may be affected by sleep apnea, it’s important that you contact a doctor and get an evaluation.  At Canyon Rim Dental, we are prepared to help you receive treatment for sleep apnea.  We are a sleep apnea dentist Salt Lake residents trust caring for their teeth and mouth, and sleep apnea issues involve our area of expertise.  Give us a call today at 801-486-3887 to schedule an appointment with our friendly staff! Find out more about Canyon Rim Dental by browsing our website.