4 Hidden Dangers of Sleep Apnea
We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping. Sleep helps us recharge our bodies and minds. Did you know that your can help you achieve a better night’s sleep? Yes, a dentist just may be the person you need to see how you are sleeping.
At Oregon Smile Care Center, we focus on whole body health. This includes taking care of your teeth, gums, and oral cavity — while providing treatments to improve your overall wellness. These are treatments like placing dental implants to help you eat. Or relieving problems with constant headaches. Or aligning the teeth with short-term orthodontics. When it comes to achieving better sleep, we can help you by provide sleep apnea treatment.
Sleep apnea is a problem that affects millions of Americans. It occurs when you stop breathing while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, and it occurs when tissue obstructs the airway during sleep.
People with severe obstructive sleep apnea can wake up more than 30 times an hour. It’s common for people with sleep apnea to snore loudly. You probably know someone who snores, or you snore yourself, but snoring is hardly the only problem associated with sleep apnea. There are other concerns you probably haven’t heard about. And they are much more serious than snoring. Today, we have four things about sleep apnea that you need to know. These are some of the hidden dangerous behind sleep apnea.
1. Weight gain. Do you wake up throughout the night feeling hungry? There may be a reason behind this. Sleep apnea can disrupt our hormones and metabolism. Two hormones that become imbalance because of sleep disorders are ghrelin and and leptin. These two hormones help dictate how frequently we eat. Ghrelin is the hormone that help our bodies react to hunger, while leptin is the hormone that tells us when we are full. Sleep disorders can cause our bodies to generate more ghrelin and leptin. This imbalance can lead to overeating, which of course can lead to weight gain.
2. Increase in blood pressure. During an apneic attack, your body becomes stressed and begins sending blood and oxygen to vital organs in the body — heart and brain. As you read earlier, some people with sleep apnea can suffer through 30 apneic episodes every hour. That means your body is increasing your blood pressure several times an hour. This increase in blood pressure can continue throughout the day as well. People with high blood pressure face an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and even kidney damage.
3. Increase risk of vehicle accidents. Because people with sleep apnea are awoken many times throughout the night — whether they realize it or not, they rarely wake up feeling refreshed. This leads to tiredness throughout the day. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving accounts for more than 80,000 accidents every year. Some of those accidents are unfortunately fatal. This is a scary fact, as most of us commute to work, and some of us drive for a living.
4. Death. You may have heard about former NFL great Reggie White, who died from complications with obstructive sleep apnea. White died just a few years after he retired from football. His death sent shockwaves through the athletic community and showed many how dangerous sleep apnea can be. Additionally, people with obstructive sleep apnea are five times more likely to die from a heart problem.
Schedule an appointment … Sleep Better
You know some of the benefits of sleep apnea. But how do we solve the problem? The standard way to treat sleep apnea is with a CPAP machine. This device continuously pushes air into the lungs to make sure you keep breathing while you sleep. Unfortunately, many people find the CPAP to be cumbersome, and the compliance rate is only about 50 percent. That’s not a high compliance rate.
This is the reason we have created the TAP appliance. The appliance sits on the lower teeth and moves the lower jaw forward. This movement keeps the airways open during sleep. We can fashion this appliance after making a quick impression of the teeth. Patients tell us that they get us to the appliance after the first few nights, and they start seeing their symptoms fade. They feel more refreshed in the morning and no longer have to deal with.
If you are struggling with problems like loud snoring or wake up still feeling exhausted, call our office today a 503-837-2718 or fill out an online appointment form to request a visit.