Sleep apnea is one of the most prevalent sleep disorders, with around 100 million people suffering from it worldwide. Obstructive sleep apnea tends to affect men more than women, and is most common in smokers and people who are significantly overweight or obese.
If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, call Flatrock Family Dentistry today at 864-297-5268 to schedule your consultation. Our dentists are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is generally caused by an obstruction in the airway when sleeping. While you sleep, your soft tissues can collapse into your airway, obstructing your breath and causing you to wake up multiple times in the night. Risk factors for developing obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Heavy drinking
- Having a narrow airway or thick neck
- Family history
Adults and children alike can develop sleep apnea, although it is most common in people middle aged or older. Sleep apnea can also affect both men and women, although it is more common in men.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can cause a variety of physical and mental symptoms, including:
- Daytime fatigue
- Concentration problems
- Waking up with dry mouth
Loud snoring is one of the most recognizable symptoms of sleep apnea, and is a reason why many people discover their sleep apnea through a partner. If your partner is often woken up by loud, incessant snoring, it could be a sign of sleep apnea.
Since people with sleep apnea wake up multiple times in the night, even if they don’t realize that they’re waking up, they often develop symptoms associated with lack of sleep or poor quality sleep. Fatigue, concentration issues, memory problems, irritability, and more can all be signs that you’re not getting good quality sleep and may have sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. However, many people have trouble adjusting to wearing a CPAP and end up not using it every night. CPAP machines are loud, can be uncomfortable, and are difficult to travel with, which can be dealbreakers for many people.
If you can get used to a CPAP machine and use it every night, it’s typically considered the best sleep apnea treatment. However, if you can’t get used to it or if your sleep apnea is on the mild or moderate end of the spectrum, you may benefit from an oral appliance.
Oral appliances have a number of benefits over a CPAP machine, including:
- Easy to wear
- Easy to travel with
- Doesn’t disturb your partner
- Much smaller than a CPAP machine
We can fit you with a custom oral appliance for sleep apnea that is as comfortable and effective as possible.
Schedule Your Sleep Apnea Consultation
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, call Flatrock Family Dentistry today at 864-297-5268 to schedule your consultation today. We serve patients in Greenville and surrounding areas of South Carolina, including Simpsonville, Taylors, Greer, and Mauldin.