You might already be aware of the fact that chronic snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea, but did you know that sleep apnea is linked to a higher risk of potentially life-threatening complications like hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, diabetes, and stroke? Besides making you feel ready to seize the day, deep, restorative sleep is necessary for your body to conduct its healing processes and for your brain to retain information you’ve gained while awake. When your sleep is constantly interrupted, especially by a lack of oxygen, your body has to work harder with less assistance.
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is the most commonly diagnosed type and happens when your airway becomes blocked by relaxed muscles and tissues. Your breath may stop for a few seconds or up to a few minutes 30+ times per hour.
With 18 million people affected by sleep apnea, it’s clearly not a discriminatory disorder.
However, there are certain factors that increase your risk.
Unfortunately, some of the factors that increase your risk of sleep apnea are beyond your control, like being male (men are twice as likely to be diagnosed), having a family history of sleep apnea, having a narrow airway, being asthmatic, and aging (sleep apnea becomes more common after the age of 40). Some external factors that elevate your risk include:
The potentially deadly side effects of sleep apnea make it a disorder that shouldn’t be left untreated. CPAP machines have been considered the gold standard for treatment, but they’re not convenient to travel with, and the noise and bulkiness of the machine can add another obstacle between you and restful sleep. Luckily, Dr. Hawkins can customize an oral appliance to comfortably fit your mouth and prevent the obstruction of your airway. No mask, no noise, and no more snoring. It’s not too good to be true!
If you have any questions about sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy, or you’d like to schedule a visit with your Arlington dentist, Dr. Kasey Hawkins of Crown Dentistry, we’d love to hear from you!(817) 587-8803