Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Patients can develop sleep apnea for a variety of reasons:
- Obesity: Being overweight can significantly increase the risk of developing of sleep apnea, due to additional pressure on the airways.
- Gender: Men are statistically more likely to develop sleep apnea.
- Age: The majority of those suffering from sleep apnea are over the age of 40.
- Large neck: If the circumference of your neck is larger than average, you are more likely to develop sleep disorders.
- Nasal or sinus issues: Allergies and sinus issues can cause chronic blockage of the airways. Additionally, patients who have a deviated septum are more likely to have problems.
- Enlarged tongue or tonsils: If any tissues in the oral cavity or throat are enlarged, they can obstruct the airway.
- Genetics: If you have a family history of sleep apnea, you are more apt to experience sleep issues.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
It is possible for sleep apnea to go unnoticed if you are unaware of the symptoms. The effects of sleep apnea can manifest in a variety of ways:
- Restless sleep
- Sore throat upon waking
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes
- Daytime drowsiness
- Gasping for air during sleep
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, chronic headaches, and depression. Early treatment can prevent these issues.
If Dr. Turner suspects you may have a sleep disorder, he will recommend that you undergo a sleep study with a specialist in the area. There are many methods of treatment that address obstructive sleep apnea, and Dr. Turner will help you determine which option is right for you. One of the most effective and conservative treatments offered at our dental practice is the use of a custom dental guard. This oral device fits comfortably over your upper and lower teeth and positions your lower jaw slightly forward. In doing so, the airways can remain open while you sleep.
If more conservative treatments are not successful, other options can be considered. Some common sleep apnea treatments may include a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, positional therapy, or in severe cases, oral surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
If you think you or a family member is suffering from sleep apnea, schedule a visit with Dr. Turner to discover a treatment that will work for you. You can contact us online anytime, or call our office at (816) 229-1433.