November 6, 2017

Sleep apnea is a chronic health problem that affects as many as 18 million Americans. Many people do not even realize they suffer from this condition, which causes breathing to stop during sleep, often for just a few seconds. This condition is progressive, which means it will worsen over time, if left untreated. Although middle-aged men who are overweight are at a higher risk for developing sleep apnea, men, women and children of all ages can develop this condition. And the condition does not only affect the individual, but the person in bed beside them.

Here are some of the symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Waking up with a dry throat
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up because of choking or gasping
  • Sleepiness during the day or a lack of energy, even though you slept most of the night
  • Sleepiness while driving
  • Restless sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Forgetfulness

Of course, some of these symptoms could be unrelated to sleep apnea. You should ask your doctor for a test to determine if you suffer from this condition and to find out how to treat it. Some common suggestions to alleviate the symptoms yourself include:

  • Lose weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid sleeping on your back
  • Don’t use alcohol or sleeping pills to get to sleep
  • Change sleeping position and don’t sleep on your back

Your doctor may recommend a CPAP machine to keep your airway open. Your dentist can also help treat sleep apnea. With your diagnosis, your dentist can suggest options for treatment, such as special mouth guards that keep your throat and mouth slightly open, which causes air to pass uninterrupted through your airway. You get a good night’s sleep and wake up more rested.

Make an appointment with Dr. Perna, a dentist in Oak Park, IL who understands that dental care affects your entire well-being, not only your teeth. We want to help you live healthier, smile bigger and feel better through quality dental care.



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