Sadly enough, many people have sleep apnea and have no idea how serious the health risks are. This problem goes beyond your quality of sleep. It’s actually tied directly to your cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Our expert dental team at K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group has the expertise to diagnose your condition and treat it. If you think you might have sleep apnea, make an appointment at our practice in Washington, DC, as soon as you can. Here’s why.
Dangers of sleep apnea
The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It causes much bigger issues than just not being able to get a good night’s rest. It can cause a slew of health problems, including:
High blood pressure
Sleep apnea can wake you up throughout the night, which causes stress. When this happens, your hormones kick into overdrive, making your blood pressure levels go up. In addition, when you don’t breathe well, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, which can also cause hypertension.
Sleep apnea disrupts the way your body takes in oxygen, which can interfere with how your brain controls the blood flow in your arteries and also in your brain. This condition can lead to a heart attack. Strokes and atrial fibrillation are linked to sleep apnea, too.
When you carry extra weight on your body, you’re at risk for several health issues. Not only is being overweight related to sleep apnea, but it’s also linked to Type 2 diabetes.
Among people who have Type 2 diabetes, 80% suffer from sleep apnea. Obesity raises your risk for both of these conditions.
When you have metabolic syndrome, it means you have at least three of these five conditions:
- High blood sugar
- High triglyceride levels
- Low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol
- Too much fat around your waistline
- High blood pressure
This group of health issues also puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
The list of health issues continues. You could also be at risk for conditions like depression, memory loss, acid reflux, and adult asthma. That’s why you need to know the signs of sleep apnea so you can get treatment right away.
Signs you have sleep apnea
Common signs of sleep apnea include:
- Gasping for air during your sleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Having a morning headache
- Loud snoring
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Sleepiness during the daytime
If you have a bed partner who notices that you have episodes of not breathing, this is a telltale sign you have sleep apnea, so book an appointment with our dental team as soon as possible.
Hope in treatment
Though sleep apnea can seem scary, we have several ways to treat it successfully. Treatments might include:
- Wearing a special machine (CPAP) over your nose and mouth to help you breathe while you sleep
- Wearing a mouth appliance to stabilize your tongue
- Using nerve stimulators to stimulate the nerve that causes your tongue to move
- In some cases, undergoing surgery
We also may recommend some healthy lifestyle changes to improve your condition or eliminate it.
When you come in for your consultation, we explain the different treatment options we offer to give you the relief you need.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, call our friendly office staff today. We can help.