The annoyance factor of trying to sleep with a loud snorer pales in comparison to the potential health consequences of the person living with untreated Sleep Apnea; which include depression, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
In addition, the mental effects of living a groggy life can impair driving and have a negative impact on your job and relationships.
If a family member, friend, or someone you know has signs of Sleep Apnea, you can literally “save” a life by getting them diagnosed and treated.
How can you tell if you, or someone else, is suffering from Sleep Apnea? Easy- One of the most common signs is snoring. 70%-90% of snorers have apnea. Also, you can hear them stop breathing for several seconds, and then gasp. Those are classic signs. The apneic probably won’t be aware of these things. They’re so sleep deprived that they “sleep” through their apnea.
From the perspective of a dentist with extensive Sleep Apnea training and experience, I have assembled a list of highly predictive signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea.
- Grinding and/or clenching your teeth
- Reflux, heartburn
- Morning headaches; either the back of the head, temples, or side of the face.
- Jaw joint pain, clicking, locking in the morning
- An inability to sleep well with a dental “nightguard”
- Ear pain, stuffy ears in the morning
- Progressive gum recession and/or bone loss around the teeth
- A TMJ condition
Each of these dental-related conditions has a definite link with Sleep Apnea as well as with TMJ problems. A very high percentage of TMJ symptoms can point to sleep apnea as a major contributor in the destruction of the TMJ.
If you suffer from what you think might be a Sleep Disorder or have several of these signs or symptoms, getting evaluated could be a life saver. Talk with your physician, contact a physician who specializes in Sleep Apnea, or have a consult with a Dentist trained and experienced in TMJ and Sleep Apnea treatment with oral appliances.
Most of the dental-related signs and symptoms will have no significant meaning for physicians and they may mistakenly advise you not to pursue a Sleep Study. Seeing a dentist trained in TMJ and Sleep Apnea will provide a thorough evaluation.
If you believe you have a Sleep Apnea problem, I can evaluate your mouth and TMJ, and we can discuss your symptoms. I can work with your MD or Sleep Physician to get you diagnosed and treated by CPAP or an oral appliance. Going untreated poses significant risks to your health.
Begin 2016 with more energy and renewed health. Call us today for an appointment.