The Dangers of Ignoring Sleep Apnea

Did you know that nearly 800,000 United States drivers were involved in sleep apnea related traffic accidents in the year 2000? You may not consider a sleep disorder as a dangerous problem, but the risks of untreated sleep apnea can certainly compromise more than your nighttime rest. Finding help for your sleep apnea can be as easy as visiting your dentist.

Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder in which the airway becomes blocked and causes several cessations of breathing during nighttime sleep. The collapse of soft tissues in the airway (known as apneas) can be a result of weak muscles, an oversized tongue, obesity and other issues. A qualified dentist can provide a custom nighttime oral appliance that keeps the jaw and airway in an open position and prevents sleep apnea episodes.

Daytime Consequences of Sleep Apnea

Unfortunately, sleep apnea patients can suffer during the daytime from what occurs during the night. When sleep apnea is ignored, a wide variety of disruptive symptoms can present themselves within one’s physical, mental and emotional health.

During the night, you may experience loud snoring, frequent gasping for air and an overall restless sleep. However, in the daytime, your sleep apnea conditions can be marked by headaches, irritability, fatigue and poor concentration.

On a more serious note, the following short and long term health risks are associated with untreated sleep apnea:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart disease/heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Driving and work-related accidents

Your Dentist Can Help

If you have symptoms of sleep apnea or are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine for your sleep disorder, please contact West Hill Family Dental. We have a dentist who is trained to treat sleep apnea, and we would love to tell you more about your options for a better night’s sleep!

Posted on behalf of West Hill Family Dental