Sleep apnea is a very serious disorder that affects many people, yet a lot of people do not even know they have it. If there is a chance that you might have this disorder, you should find out, and a good first step to take is visiting a dentist. Many dentists are now trained to understand the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and treatment options for this disorder.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea actually falls into the category of sleeping disorder, even though it is very different from most other types of sleeping disorders. Sleep apnea is something that prevents you from breathing properly while you sleep. The tissue in the back of your throat blocks your breathing passageway, and you will actually stop breathing. This can happen multiple times in a night, or it can happen hundreds of times.

What Are the Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea?

If you have sleep apnea and leave it untreated, you open up a lot of health risks that you could avoid if you treat it. Each time you stop breathing while you sleep, your brain recognizes a problem. It then alerts your heart to beat harder to make you breathe again. When this happens, it places a lot of extra stress on your heart, and this occurs repeatedly all night, night after night.

People with untreated sleep apnea have a much higher chance of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. People with sleep apnea also typically suffer from emotional problems too, simply because they are not getting enough good sleep at night.

How Can a Dentist Help?

If you want to get help for your sleep apnea, there is a good chance your dentist can provide the assistance you need. Many dentists who offer sleep apnea treatment provide a solution for the problem through the use of a mouth piece, sometimes also called a sleep apnea appliance. This mouth piece is something you would place in your mouth each night before you go to sleep. The purpose of it is to create a gap in between your teeth. This gap not only separates your teeth, but it also keeps your breathing passageway open, which helps prevent you from having trouble breathing while you sleep.

If you suspect you might suffer from sleep apnea, talk to your dentist. Your dentist can help you diagnose the condition and can offer treatment options for you which could save your life and help you keep your health.