Sleep apnea can be very disruptive to one’s life and health, and you might not even know you have it. True to its name, sleep apnea happens during sleep, and is, as a result, hard to notice on your own. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes repeated interruptions to breathing throughout the night. This causes the all parts of the body, including the brain, to lack sufficient amounts of oxygen. It doesn’t stop the breathing entirely, so it is unlikely for someone to suffocate in their sleep due to sleep apnea, but it can cause disruptions in the sleep cycle and the body’s healing process that is scheduled for sleeping hours.

There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form of sleep apnea, the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and causes the tongue to block the airway. Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, is caused by the brain failing to send the correct signals to command the muscles to breathe.

To find out whether you suffer from sleep apnea, start by assessing these symptoms:

  • Waking up with a sore throat

  • Loud snoring

  • Waking up during the night feeling like you’re out of breath or choking

  • Sleepiness or tiredness during the day

  • Morning headaches

  • Restless sleep

  • Forgetfulness

  • Mood changes

  • Insomnia

If any of these symptoms sound familiar to your experiences, you might have sleep apnea; see your dentist and doctor about it as soon as possible. Fortunately, for most patients with mild sleep apnea, there are dental sleep apnea devices available to easily treat the problem. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe today.