Our dentist in Boca Raton, FL at Polin Dental may diagnose you with sleep apnea if you have consistent pauses in your breathing while sleeping and frequent nighttime arousals due to loud snoring, choking, or gasping for air.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to several health complications, including heart disease and stroke. Dentists can use an at-home sleep test to diagnose sleep apnea. However, many patients are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea during a routine visit to their dentist for an examination and cleaning.
If our dentist suspects you have sleep apnea, they will refer you to a specialist for a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis. After the diagnosis is confirmed, our dentist can work with you to find a treatment plan that works for you.
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Patients with sleep apnea often exhibit the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- Mood swings or irritability
- Other sleep disturbances such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy
The Causes of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is commonly caused by an airway blockage that prevents normal breathing. This blockage can be caused by large tonsils, extra tissue in the throat, or the tongue dropping back into the airway while sleeping.
Obesity or large neck circumference can also cause sleep apnea because it puts more pressure on the airways. People who snore heavily are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea.
What Treatments Are Available for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is caused by the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapsing and blocking your airway while you sleep. This causes you to wake up throughout the night, sometimes gasping for air. This lack of proper sleep can affect your health in many ways. It can lead to fatigue during the day and even increase your risk of stroke or heart attack.
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available for sleep apnea that can help you get a good night’s rest. The most common is a CPAP machine which delivers pressurized oxygen through a mask you wear as you sleep. The air pressure helps keep your throat open so you can get more restful and better-quality sleep.
You might also try other lifestyle adjustments, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol close to bedtime. If your apnea is mild and you have no other health conditions, you might only need lifestyle changes to treat your condition. However, more advanced cases of sleep apnea might require surgery to help you breathe more easily at night.
Get in touch with Polin Dental at 2600 N Military Trl #320, Boca Raton 33431, or call (561) 997-2323 to learn more about available sleep apnea treatments.