Longmont Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea diagram showing air flow while sleeping

Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition that often goes undiagnosed.  For example, according to a NCIB study, 20% of the population has sleep apnea, however 90% of the cases are undiagnosed.  This means about 18 percent of the population has a serious medical condition and they’re unaware of it.

For this reason, if you have symptoms, it can be very beneficial to have a sleep study performed.  In fact, the team at Longmont Dental Loft recommends most people get tested for sleep apnea as not everybody with sleep apnea realizes they have symptoms.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms

There are many signs and symptoms of OSA. Typically snoring is one of the most common symptoms, but keep in mind it’s possible to snore and not have sleep apnea.

The below symptoms can be a sign of having sleep apnea. Of course, they can also be signs of other medical conditions. Only a sleep study can tell if you have sleep apnea.

  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Headaches after waking up in the morning
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflamed gum tissue
  • Insomnia
  • Scalloped tongue (due to your tongue into your teeth to open the airway while sleeping)
  • Snoring
  • Waking up at night and gasping for air
  • Waking up with dry mouth or sore throat

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Causes

There are many causes of sleep apnea. Some of the factors are

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Allergies
  • Deviated Septum
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Large tonsils in children
  • Narrow throat
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

How Do I Stop Snoring?

When most people think of sleep apnea they tend to think of snoring. This is for a good reason as most people that have obstructive sleep apnea do snore. Of course, not everybody that snores has sleep apnea. For this reason, it’s important to get a sleep apnea test if snoring is interfering with your sleep. If sleep apnea is causing your snoring there are several treatment options available.

Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

  • Age: Although OSA can occur with people of all ages, it’s most common for middle aged men and women that are post-menopausal
  • Gender: Men are more likely to have OSA.
  • Genetics: People with a family history of OSA
  • Body weight: People that are overweight
  • Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of OSA

Why is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

Not only can sleep apnea negatively impact your sleep, but it can also cause other oral health issues. For example, it can cause you to grind your teeth at night which can cause teeth wear. In fact, it can even be more serious and cause issues in the rest of your body. For example, undiagnosed sleep apnea can cause the onset of other diseases such as diabetes or heart disease. And these medical conditions can even reduce your lifespan according to Johns Hopkins.

How to Get a Sleep Study

There are several highly effective methods of sleep apnea treatment. However, in order to know the best method, a sleep study is needed.  This will not only determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea, but it can help determine which treatment option is best for you.  At Longmont Dental Loft we perform sleep studies and best of all, you can do it in the comfort of your own home.

Learn about Sleep Studies