Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, which is a medical issue and can not only have an impact on your overall health but your dental health as well. Even though sleep apnea is a widespread problem among many people, it can still be cured. It can be identified by your partner or another member of your family identify whether you snore, choke, or halt breathing at regular intervals throughout sleep is one technique to determine if you have sleep apnea. When the throat muscles relax, your breathing also stops and starts due to a narrowed or clogged airway. This can lead you to wake up suddenly and gasp for air.
When this happens, it indicates that you have sleep apnea.
What Are The Causes of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can be caused by a variety of factors. When a person’s airway becomes blocked, breathing becomes restricted as a result of:
Obesity and Excess Weight – Obesity or being overweight is the most common cause of sleep apnea. The excess fat around the face and neck increases airway pressure during sleep. When the throat and tongue muscles relax, the airway can be completely blocked. When temporarily waking up, this affects breathing and causes a choking sound.
Head Position – When lying down, the position of your head can affect the position of your neck, jaw, and tongue. When the head is tilted forward, the airflow is immediately impacted, and respiration is temporarily halted.
Family History – Sleep apnea can be passed down through generations. If you’ve inherited sleep apnea from a family member, you’re at a higher chance of developing it. Diabetes and high blood pressure are two prevalent heritable health problems that can cause sleep apnea.
Smoking – Smokers are more prone to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. It causes sleep disturbances and might lead to breathing problems.
Drinking Alcohol – Alcohol relaxes your entire body, including your throat muscles. This increases the likelihood of the upper airway collapsing, resulting in snoring and sleep apnea.
How Can Sleep Apnea Be Treated?
When tests show that treatment is needed to cure sleep apnea, the dentist will most likely suggest the following treatments:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) — By supplying positive airway pressure, CPAP helps to lessen the number of breathing disruptions. When using CPAP treatment, you must sleep with a mask covering your nose and mouth. The mask is connected to the CPAP machine, which provides constant airway pressure to aid with easier breathing. During sleep, your airways remain open. You must initially become acclimated to the mask’s comfort. As a result, for individual comfort, try wearing a mask during the day. You must get used to pressure tolerance, although some machines come with pressure functions to manage the air pressure inbound.
Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) Therapy — Those who find CPAP or oral appliances irritating can utilise a stimulation system that includes a generator, sensor, and stimulation lead that can be regulated remotely. This system should be switched on before bedtime and off when you wake up. The technology monitors your breathing patterns while you sleep and keeps your airway open.
Wear A Dental Mouthguard – For people with mild sleep apnea, a dental mouthguard has proven to be an effective therapy option. A mouthguard assists in keeping the airways open.
When you wear it, your lower jaw shifts forward slightly to alleviate snoring. When the lower jaw goes forward, the gap between it and the upper jaw expands, allowing more air to pass through the airway. The dentist is in the greatest position to comfortably determine the custom fit in and around the mouth.
Lifestyle Changes To Reduce Sleep Apnea
Mild sleep apnea can be addressed with food and lifestyle adjustments, allowing you to sleep comfortably and peacefully. The following modifications at home will benefit your health:
Weight Loss – Sleep apnea is caused by excess weight. The fat accumulates in and around the neck and causes the airways to be blocked. Therefore, losing weight is a great first step.
Sleep Hacks – Avoid sleeping on your back to avoid the airway being pressured. Sleep on the side with your neck positioned down.
Eat Right – Replace fatty food options with healthy vegetable meals and drink water. Reducing your calories will help reduce the pounds.
Stop Drinking Alcohol – Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles which leads to the airways collapsing when you sleep. Replace alcohol with water.
Mouth Exercises – Exercise programmes have been associated with a 25% decrease in sleep apnea symptoms. Exercise can help you avoid feeling drowsy by reducing exhaustion, keeping you focused, and increasing energy levels. As a result, the risk of cardiovascular disorders such as heart attacks, strokes, and illnesses is reduced.
Do you suffer from sleep apnea? It may not be necessary to get it treated if you make the appropriate lifestyle changes to drop the weight and eat and think healthy. Take the steps to change your life today!