Is snoring ruining your relationship or a good night’s sleep? Do you wake up feeling groggy? Are you struggling throughout your daily routine with daytime drowsiness? Not only is your snoring a bother, but could also be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, a serious disorder, is a disruptive breathing condition that can raise the risk of health problems including depression, heart attack, and stoke.

• What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People who live with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly throughout their sleep, occasionally even up to 10 seconds at a time. When this occurs, the brain and rest of the body struggle to get the oxygen it needs to function. There are two types of sleep apnea- Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which is caused when the soft tissue in the back of your mouth becomes relaxed during sleep and blocks the airway; and Central Sleep Apnea, a lack of effort to breathe.

• What are the main symptoms to look out for?

– Chronic, Loud Snoring
– Chronic Fatigue
– Teeth Grinding
– Headaches
– Daytime Sleepiness
– Irritability
– Difficulty Concentrating
– Depression and Mood Swings

• What are the effects that sleep apnea can cause if left untreated?

– High Blood Pressure
– Stroke
– Heart failure, irregular heart beats, heart attacks
– Diabetes
– Depression
– Worsening of ADHD

(If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a decline of performance in regular, everyday activities including work, school, operating motor vehicles, and even academic struggles with children and adolescents.)

• How can Dillon Family Dentistry help you with your sleep apnea?

We have been helping more of our patients with their sleep apnea, snoring, and grinding issues (bruxism) in the past couple of years. We are getting a device in the office that is a very sophisticated sleep monitor that patients can use at home. While sleeping, it measures the oxygen saturation in your blood, your breathing rate and how often it is interrupted, and the presence and volume of snoring and grinding activity. This take home device is a great deal less expensive and complicated than hospital sleep studies, and it can be done in the comfort of your own home. Pretty awesome!

If you have any dental related questions or concerns or would like to schedule a consultation for a regular dental examination, dental implant services or even to seek the opinion of a teeth whitening dentist, give us a call at 610-991-7844. Dillon Family Dentistry is always here for you!