Are You At Risk Of Developing Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea can open the door for restless nights and breathing difficulties…
Did you know that over 18 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea? It is one of the most draining and restless disorders that interrupts sleep. It causes the affected individual to sleep restlessly, along with breathing difficulties and low blood oxygen levels. Understanding how the body obtains the maximum oxygen levels is the key to understanding proper breathing. In recent studies it has been debated whether mouth breathing or nasal breathing is better for quality breathing. At Michelle Enmark, DDS in Sacramento, we completely believe that those who breathe through their nasal passages are getting better air flow, and in turn better oxygen absorption, than those who breathe orally. We also support the idea that oral breathing raises the risk of developing sleep apnea.
Identify the risks that can heighten your chances of sleep apnea…
It is important to recognize any symptoms or conditions that could leave you open to developing sleep apnea. This is significant as this disorder has the potential to not only affect your sleep, it can also severely deplete your energy levels, mood, health and overall wellbeing. Here are a few factors that increase the likelihood of sleep apnea:
Age…sleep apnea is not secluded to age and anyone at any age can develop it, however this condition is more prevalent the older you get. This is due to the fact that as we age we lose muscle tone and elasticity which means the tissue in the throat is more likely to collapse.
Alcohol consumption…alcohol is a muscle relaxant so its effect on raising the likelihood of sleep apnea is self-explanatory, however these would more likely be isolated incidents and will depend on how inebriated you are.
Family/Medical History… if your parent/s have a history of sleep apnea your genetic makeup is more likely to inherit this disorder.
Gender…men are twice as likely to develop sleep apnea as women. This fact is unfortunate for men, and is caused by anatomical differences.
Neck Circumference…The larger your neck the less mobile it is, consequently the less mobility you have the more likely you are going to develop disorders like sleep apnea.
Obesity… obese adults are seven times more likely to develop sleep apnea than adults who are physically fit. This is due to the fact that excess weight adds pressure to the throat, which causes it to collapse and cut off the passage of oxygen.
Race… depending on your race or ancestral background, this history can influence your likelihood of developing sleep apnea
Smoking… this activity increases the risk of sleep apnea by 2.5 times compared to those who do not smoke. This is because smoking irritates the airways and causes them to swell, especially in the nose and throat. Together this restricts air flow and causes breathing difficulties.
At Michelle Enmark, DDS in Sacramento, we find that sleep apnea is usually accompanied by dental problems…
Suffering from sleep apnea? If you wake up in the morning with sore teeth, an aching jaw, a headache and the feeling that you did not get any sleep last night then there might be more to it than you initially thought. Those who suffer from sleep apnea could also be experiencing dental related problems which cause the boughs of interrupted sleep such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). TMD is an often painful and uncomfortable condition that involves decreased mobility, pain and difficulty in the movement of the mandibular (lower jaw) joint. This is often caused by bruxism (gnashing of the teeth) that commonly occurs during sleep and causes the teeth to become worn down. Bruxism can be inferred by stress, malocclusions and a variety of other factors. The fact of the matter is that the grinding of the teeth can cause sleep obstructions and often those who suffer from bruxism, and even TMD, snore and show symptoms of sleep apnea. At our practice we alleviate TMD with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) therapy and the application of oral appliances to improve the symptoms.
For more information on breathing or sleep apnea, or to book an appointment at our Sacramento dental practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.