Miami and Coral Gables, FL
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects 22 million Americans. Sleep apnea, or OSA for short, is a condition that causes a person to have difficulties or interruptions breathing while asleep. Your throat muscles relax naturally while you’re sleeping, but with a sleep apnea patient, your throat tissue relaxes too much and blocks your airway—which is as dangerous as it sounds. That’s why Miami sleep apnea dentists want to share nine warning signs that could indicate sleep apnea.
Snoring is one of the most commonly noticed signs of sleep apnea. Lots of people snore, but for someone with obstructive sleep apnea, the snoring is particularly loud, obnoxious, and consistent—meaning that you snore almost every night, instead of just during bouts of congestion.
#2: Relationship Health
Many times, it can be a struggle to share a bed with people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea because of their snoring. It can be scary, and nearly impossible, to sleep with someone who’s gasping for air all throughout the night. This is also why your spouse or significant other may be the first to tell you of your snoring problem.
#3: Dry Mouth
Waking in the morning with a sore throat or dry mouth can also be due to illness or allergens, but sleep apnea patients wake up with dry mouth because they breathe through their mouth all night. Dry mouth can be harmful to your oral health because it allows bacteria to multiply, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease while also causing halitosis (bad breath).
Sure, we’ve all woken up with a headache, but if your mornings often start with a head pain, this can be due to sleep apnea preventing your brain from receiving enough oxygen during the night. This lack of oxygen occurs from the intermittent pauses during breathing that sleep apnea patients encounter.
Is it a struggle to stay awake and get normal tasks done? Is your workday feeling endless? As you go through your day, you may find yourself struggling to do simple tasks. You may even have difficulty concentrating or find that you are becoming forgetful. Easily becoming frustrated or suffering from bouts of moodiness also can be directly linked to sleep apnea. These are all signs you are not getting enough rest because of your sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea may cause exhaustion, as we’ve already discussed. Feeling overly exhausted may mean you’re over-caffeinating yourself to stay awake. You may constantly find yourself reaching for a sugary soda, energy drink, or coffee to stay awake. That can lead to heightened levels of anxiety, which also can lead you to begin clenching or grinding your teeth—also known as bruxism.
#7: Acid Reflux
If obstructive sleep apnea goes unaddressed, it may increase your chance of suffering from acid reflux. This is when stomach acid comes back up your esophagus. This acid can linger in your throat and your mouth, doing damage to your throat and weakening the enamel on your teeth.
#8: Weight Gain
A common side effect of obstructive sleep apnea is that you might struggle with weight loss. Even if you have a healthy diet and you exercise, your body isn’t getting proper rest because of your sleep apnea. This keeps your body from functioning at its best, even if you are in the middle of a weight loss regimen.
#9: Chronic Disease
If your obstructive sleep apnea goes unaddressed, it raises your risk of several serious and even life-threatening diseases. You face an increased threat of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even certain cancers.
Sleep apnea treatment in Miami
The American Sleep Apnea Association says that 80 percent of cases of moderate and severe sleep apnea go undiagnosed. This can be life threatening. If you’re located in the areas of Miami and Coral Gables and you believe you or a loved one has sleep apnea, don’t wait. Contact the office of Miami Designer Smiles today at (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation.