If you’re one of the 18 million adults suffering from sleep apnea, you know how difficult each morning can be. The fatigue alone can be enough to ruin your day, your week, or even your year, but the threat of looming health problems can make living with sleep apnea a life-threatening concern.
Lisa Wyatt, DDS, knows that dentistry extends far beyond cavities and crowns. That’s why we’re proud to offer sleep apnea treatment as a key part of our dental care here at Metairie Village Dentistry in Metairie, Louisiana.
An overview of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles can’t keep your airways open as you sleep. As a result, your breathing stops for increments of approximately 10 seconds, causing your body to interrupt your sleep and wake you up just enough so that you start breathing again.
The warning signs of sleep apnea can include loud snoring and awakening with a dry mouth and headache. You might also notice yourself gasping for air in the middle of the night and struggling to focus during the day.
Sleep apnea risk factors
Though sleep apnea can affect individuals of all demographics, there are certain factors that can raise the risk of developing this condition. For example, men over age 40, especially those who are overweight, are most at risk for developing sleep apnea.
Your chances of developing sleep apnea can also increase if you smoke, drink excessively, or have difficulty controlling your stress levels. Genetics can also be a factor.
Complications from sleep apnea
Leaving your sleep apnea untreated can bring on a whole slew of health conditions and side effects, chief among them low energy and fatigue.
Even if your sleep apnea doesn’t completely wake you up at night, you’re likely still not getting restful sleep. The constant struggle to maintain a steady flow of oxygen at night can leave you waking up groggy and living under a cloud of fatigue all day. This sluggishness can impact your social and professional life and even lead to depression.
In some cases, sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiac issues.
Sleep apnea treatments
After conducting a thorough review of your symptoms and medical history, Dr. Wyatt creates your treatment plan. Depending on your needs, Dr. Wyatt may recommend the Fotona NightLase® laser or an oral device.
The noninvasive Fotona NightLase laser process reduces the effects of sleep apnea by gently tightening your oral tissues. The medical-grade lasers decrease the amount of collagen in your oral tissues, thus making it easier for air to pass through.
You can also opt for a customized oral device that either repositions your jaws or holds your tongue in a specific place to manage your snoring and lessen the effects of sleep apnea.
Mild or severe, sleep apnea is not something you should ignore. If you’re ready to wake up refreshed, have sustained energy all day, and ward of potentially serious health issues, it’s time to explore your options with Dr. Wyatt’s sleep apnea treatments. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Metairie Village Dentistry today.