Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that can take a toll on your smile as well as you’re overall well-being. Because the symptoms of sleep apnea manifest at night, it can be difficult for patients to notice on their own.
Our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists have put together this short overview of commonly experienced sleep apnea symptoms. If you recognize any of these symptoms in your daily life, then it is time to reach out for an evaluation with our team!
Sleep apnea develops when relaxed oral tissues collapse into the airway while the patient is asleep. Snoring results from the patient struggling to inhale and exhale despite the obstruction. If you are snoring regularly this means that your airway is not clear. Snoring may be accompanied by gasping or choking sensations that wake you in the middle of the night.
Because it is difficult to breathe when suffering from sleep apnea, your blood oxygen levels will drop throughout the night. When blood oxygen levels are sufficiently depleted, your body automatically wakes you, in order to restart the breathing process. This results in a disrupted night’s sleep. If you are waking up with headaches it may be due to poor sleep quality and insufficient oxygen during the night.
Many sleep apnea sufferers end up trying to breathe through their mouths to inhale more oxygen. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for your body to produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. You’ll end up waking with a dry mouth, and, because saliva levels are depleted, you are more likely to suffer from bad breath as well as increased levels of oral bacteria.
Obstructive sleep apnea rarely improves on its own, in fact, it can get worse over time. Our Saint Louis dentists are happy to answer any questions that you may have—just give our office a call to get started!