What do you know about sleep apnea? Did you know that people who are forced to cope with sleep apnea may find themselves waking at night one hundred or more times every night? This is because the airways of people with sleep apnea are partially blocked—typically by their tongue or sagging throat muscles. Sadly, if these problems are not addressed, sleep apnea can eventually lead to problems like heart disease and diabetes.
However, would you be surprised to learn that some people are more likely to have sleep apnea than others? Sometimes there is nothing you can do to protect yourself from sleep apnea, but at other times you can avoid the problem entirely.
For example, certain lifestyle choices can promote sleep apnea. Luckily, these choices can be changed to prevent or relieve sleep apnea. One problem is obesity, which makes tissues in your mouth relax more than normal. Smoking is another common problem. The nicotine in cigarettes will cause your airway to swell, meaning your throat more likely to be obstructed. Alcohol can similarly relax the muscles in your airway.
Conversely, people with naturally small airways could be at risk for sleep apnea, especially if they struggle with colds, allergies, and sinus issues. Similarly, men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women. Sadly, men who have a family history of sleep apnea are even more likely.
Fortunately, even if you suffer from genetic problems, your dentist can create special appliances that will support your throat muscles. Similarly, a dentist can provide you with specified advice.
To learn more about how our dentist can help you deal with sleep apnea, please feel free to give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.