Obstructive sleep apnea can take a toll on a patient’s health and his or her partner’s happiness. The long nights, snoring, and exhaustion/irritability that accompany obstructive sleep apnea make life more difficult for everyone. Our Saint Louis sleep apnea dentists want you to understand what sleep apnea is and whom it affects, so that you can seek treatment for this disorder as soon as you notice the warning signs. I hope at the end of this article you’ll feel comfortable contacting your dentist for help if you find that you’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
So what is obstructive sleep apnea?
OSA is a condition in which a patient stops breathing or experiences blocked breathing while sleeping. If you experience OSA, your airway becomes blocked as your sleeping by soft oral tissues. As a result your airway is blocked—you more snore regularly or even momentarily wake up to “restart” your breathing.
Who is at risk of suffering from OSA?
There are risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea that are important to keep in mind. Here are some common risk factors:
· Men are at greater risk than women
· Overweight patients are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea
· A family history of sleep apnea puts you at increased risk
· If you’re an allergy sufferer you’re more likely to have OSA
· If you’ve ever sustained damage to your nose you’re more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.
These are some common risk factors for sleep apnea, but this isn’t a comprehensive list that describes sleep apnea sufferers. Anyone can develop sleep apnea, so if you find that you’re snoring regularly or jolting away in the middle of the night, talk to your dentist about the possibility of OSA. Our Saint Louis dental office can help you get the good night’s sleep you need, give us a call to schedule your consultation!