Although snoring is often referred to comically, sleep apnea can cause serious health problems when untreated. Sleep apnea occurs when an individual periodically stops breathing during sleep for anywhere between ten seconds to several minutes. Usually, sleep apnea is caused by a physical blockage in the nasal cavity or throat, which is why snoring often accompanies the disorder.
Individuals who have sleep apnea often suffer from various health issues. Fatigue is common, as well as resultant behavioral changes like depression and irritability. Sleep apnea can also affect a patient’s oral health in many ways. Because acid reflux often accompanies sleep apnea, the disorder can also result in gingivitis and tooth decay.
If you believe you have sleep apnea, a sleep study is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Generally the disorder is treated using an oral appliance that provides air flow to the lungs throughout the night. If you suspect that your oral health is suffering as a result of sleep apnea, you should contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe today.