June 14, 2018

June is an important month for many reasons. The weather hits its sunny stride and families start heading out on vacation during the break from school. June also happens to be Men’s Health Month, and Dr. Patrick Cieplak and our staff at Cieplak Dental Excellence in La Plata, MD feel it is important to address a problem that affects 22 million Americans, mostly men over 40: sleep apnea.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder where a person’s breathing is cut off while sleeping. There are three types of apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the air is blocked, such as when the tongue falls against the soft palate, collapsing it into the throat.
  • Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send messages to the muscles responsible for breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea combines both the obstructive and central types of apnea.

Learning the Signs

You should receive a proper diagnosis from your dentist or a health professional, but you can also take note of the common signs of this disorder:

  • Restless sleep
  • Snoring loudly
  • Waking with a dry or sore throat
  • Gasping or choking as you wake
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in mood or libido

While individually these symptoms may seem mostly harmless, a combination of several could indicate sleep apnea to be the issue. By receiving an official diagnosis, you can then start on treatment.

Caring for Your Health

One of the greatest risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea is being overweight. Surprisingly, you may be able to get your apnea under control simply by losing weight. A dentist trained in sleep apnea treatment, such as Dr. Cieplak, may also aid in treatment by providing a special dental device to keep your airway open while you sleep or a CPAP or BPAP machine. Surgery is another treatment option in some cases.

Contact Us

Sleep apnea is a serious condition you should not take lightly. Start Men’s Health Month off on the right foot by contacting our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cieplak at Cieplak Dental Excellence today.



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