Snoring can seem like a minor annoyance. However, snoring may also indicate a deeper problem, especially if it's accompanied by sudden gasps for breath. Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing in their sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea can also cause disruptive snoring. A sleep study is the only definitive way to diagnose sleep apnea. Once you have a sleep apnea diagnosis, you can start getting treatment from a professional.
You may think that sleep apnea isn't hindering your life, but it can have many ramifications on your health and well-being. These are four reasons to talk to your dentist about treating your sleep apnea:
1. Stop feeling tired in the morning.
People with sleep apnea are more likely to feel tired in the morning. Your sleep apnea may wake you up several times during the night as you struggle with shortness of breath. Seeking treatment from a dentist can help you breathe easily, even while you're at rest. Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) are prescribed by dentists to reposition your jaw while you sleep. By advancing your upper or lower mandible, a MAD can create additional space in your airway so you can experience fewer wake-ups in the middle of the night.
2. Perform better at your daily tasks.
Even if you don't feel tired, a lack of sleep can affect your overall cognitive performance. You may find your grades or work performance slipping the longer you deal with untreated sleep apnea. Talking to your dentist about treatment doesn't have to be nerve-wracking. Dentists treat many people with sleep apnea. Using the results from your sleep study and impressions taken of your teeth, a dentist can have an oral appliance custom-made to fit your mouth, and better sleep through sleep apnea treatment can mean better day-to-day performance.
3. Utilize a simple, comfortable treatment.
Many people prefer simple treatments, such as mandibular advancement devices, when seeking solutions for their sleep apnea. MADs are easier to clean than devices like CPAP machines. They can also be used without electricity or water, which makes them ideal for people who travel. Wearing a MAD may be more comfortable for people who move around in their sleep since oral appliances do not require people to wear masks over their noses and mouths the way CPAP machines do.
4. Reduce your risk of sleep apnea complications.
Finally, treating your sleep apnea is an important thing that you can do for your health. Sleep apnea can prevent oxygen from reaching your brain as you sleep, which can cause brain damage and even death. Treatment for sleep apnea can help you stay safe and healthy as you rest.