When a problem develops with your oral health, a tooth becoming infected or your gums developing disease, it’s often wise not to ignore it. The longer you wait to treat it, the more extensive the problem will become. While obstructive sleep apnea isn’t a common oral health problem like tooth decay or gum disease, it can also grow increasingly more severe the longer it takes you to detect and treat it. Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder that can make it impossible for your body and brain to maintain deep sleep. This happens because your sleep apnea causes your airway to become obstructed and prevent you from breathing repeatedly throughout the night.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, describes the complete obstruction of your airway while you sleep. As your body settles down to rest and you fall deeper into sleep, your oral and/or throat tissues collapse into your airway, creating an increasingly greater obstruction that forces you to snore louder and louder. Before long, the obstruction will be complete, and your breathing will stop momentarily, until your body wakes enough to clear the airway. This cycle of interrupted breathing and sleeping can repeat itself hundreds of times a night, and by morning, your body and brain will not have gotten the deep sleep and rest they needed.
A lack of consistent, deep sleep
Your sleep breathing cycle is important to reaching the deep levels of sleep that allow you body and brain cells to rest and rejuvenate. When your breathing is interrupted by sleep apnea cycles, it causes your body and brain to panic from the lack of oxygen. Out of instinct, both will wake moments after they stop receiving oxygen. The problem with sleep apnea is that you may never or very rarely realize when your body and brain are forced awake. You can remain unconscious and at the lightest levels of sleep, and believe that you’ve slept soundly throughout the night.
How to deal with sleep apnea comfortably
When you have sleep apnea, treating it as soon as possible is essential to mitigating any impact it can have on the quality of your sleep and life. Over time, sleep apnea can leave you sleep deprived, and the consistent lack of sleep and oxygen can begin to affect your systemic wellbeing. For patients with untreated sleep apnea, their risks of developing cardiovascular or respiratory problems later in life can skyrocket.
Learn more about treating your sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder, but for many patients, it can be alleviated with a custom-designed sleep appliance made just for them. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Creekside Family Dental Care in Columbia, TN, today at (931) 388–3384.