Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that causes your breathing to pause for brief periods while you sleep. Although each pause tends to only last about 10 seconds, they can occur hundreds of times during the night, which disrupts your sleep cycle, and can lead to a host of health issues.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, is caused by a complete or partial blockage of the upper airways during sleep.
With an obstructive sleep apnea episode, the diaphragm and chest muscles have to work harder to open the airway and bring air into the lungs, which can result in gasping, snorting, or body jerks. These apnea episodes not only interfere with sleep, but they can also reduce the flow of oxygen to organs and cause irregular heart rhythms.
Although there are three types of sleep apnea- obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea-obstructive sleep apnea is by far the most common, and the type most likely to cause the loud snoring we’ve come to associate with apnea.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The signs of obstructive sleep apnea are sometimes hard to miss and often the signs of sleep apnea are noticed by the bed partner of the person with OSA before the patient themselves.
Part of the problem is that the common symptoms of OSA can also be symptoms of other issues, so the person with apnea might not make the connection.
If you think you might be experiencing OSA, here are some signs to look for:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Morning headaches
- Trouble with memory, concentration, or mood swings
- Night sweats
- Restlessness during sleep
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sudden moments of wakefulness accompanied by a feeling of gasping or choking
- Trouble getting up in the morning
Sleep Apnea Dentist in SE Michigan
Have a question about the connection between oral health and sleep apnea? Pointe Dental Group is here to help!
Contact Pointe Dental’s Sleep Apnea Dentist in SE Michigan at either of our convenient locations:
Grosse Pointe Farms
18342 Mack Avenue
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
50505 Schoenherr Rd # 170
Shelby Township, MI 48315
Resources for Sleep Apnea
- Read This If You Think You Have Sleep Apnea
- Sleep Apnea Causes and the Best Treatments
- What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
- Sleep Apnea: Over-the-Counter Oral Appliances Vs. Prescription Dental Devices