Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
Make no mistake, sleep apnea is a serious medical problem. It won’t go away on its own. In fact, failing to seek treatment will make your condition worse. Sleep apnea doctors in Greeneville at Tusculum Dental Care want to educate you to the dangers of sleep apnea, and how we can help.
Do you know what happens when a person has sleep apnea?
Someone with sleep apnea experiences a blockage in their upper airway whenever they lie down to sleep. These blockages disrupt the flow of air or interrupt airflow. Either way, the brain signals the body that breathing needs to resume. Each of these disruptions in breathing (clinically referred to apnea) might last 10 seconds or more, and someone with a severe, untreated case of sleep apnea may experience these attacks 30 or more times in a single hour. That could be hundreds of times a night! Moreover, each time a person with sleep apnea experiences an attack, it disrupts the sleep cycle; a sleep apnea patient doesn’t spend enough time in the deepest stages of sleep, which are important to restoring the mind and body and keeping you feeling rested.
Even though sleep apnea affects an estimated 22 million people in America, the disorder often is overlooked in many cases. Why? Because the most visible symptoms of sleep apnea happen while you and your partner are asleep, and no one even may realize what is happening. These symptoms can include loud snoring, gasping for air while asleep, or noticeable interruptions in breathing. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include daytime fatigue, frequently waking up with headaches, loss of libido, and weight gain.
The risks of untreated sleep apnea can be life threatening
Long term, sleep apnea has dire consequences. It elevates your risk of several chronic, systemic disorders that even can be fatal. This list includes congestive heart failure, cardiac disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cognitive decline, obesity, and even certain forms of cancer. There’s also an elevated risk of getting in an automobile accident, due to the daytime sleepiness possibly affecting your driving.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone
It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, an adult or a child—you could develop sleep apnea. That said, the disorder could be influenced by certain physical, genetic, and behavioral factors. These factors may include obesity, large tonsils and/or adenoids, endocrine disorders, neuromuscular disorders, heart failure, kidney disease, genetic syndromes, or being born prematurely.
How can your dentist help with sleep apnea?
Certain dentists are trained in airway management. They can identify an issue with the airway such as a sleep breathing disorder, then provide treatment to re-open the airway and prevent the blockages that cause sleep apnea attacks. Click here to learn more about how Drs. Craig Shepherd and Nathaniel Renner treat sleep apnea. Are you exhibiting any combination of the above symptoms? What about someone you love? If so, then schedule a consultation today to be evaluated for sleep apnea. Your rest and your life may depend on it. Make an appointment by calling (423) 639-7575.
Tusculum Dental Care offers comprehensive oral health services to patients in the areas of Greeneville, Erwin, and Jonesborough in Tennessee.