Most people are aware of the importance of getting enough sleep each night. But did you know that the quality of your sleep can affect your health also? Your Rockville area dentist, Victor Siegel, and your medical doctor can work together to determine if your symptoms have led to sleep apnea, and finalize a treatment plan for you.
Almost 1 out of 15 Americans are affected by sleep apnea, however most people are unaware that they are suffering with this condition. The first signs are usually being tired during the day (and who isn’t?) and snoring. Those who do finally search for answers are generally directed to a doctor by a partner who has tired of the snoring! Another indicator of sleep apnea is bruxism, more commonly known as grinding your teeth. If you think you (or your partner) may be suffering from sleep apnea, a visit to Dr. Siegel may be the first step in finding relief.
If you have been grinding your teeth at night, Dr. Siegel may determine that you suffer from bruxism and fit you with a custom made night guard to help you protect your teeth at night. If your snoring and daytime tiredness persist, it may be best to consult with a medical sleep specialist, the only doctor able to accurately diagnosis sleep apnea.
What exactly is sleep apnea? It is a blockage of your airway, in which the soft tissue at the rear of the throat collapses during sleep. This causes the patient to stop breathing while sleeping, perhaps hundreds of times, sometimes maybe even up to one minute at a time! If untreated, this condition can lead to daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
So who is most likely to suffer from sleep apnea? Overweight males, at least 40 years old seem to be the most afflicted. Of course, no one is immune.
The commonly prescribed treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP machine, which forces air into the nose through a fitted mask. Unfortunately many patients stop using the machine due to discomfort. Another solution is a dental device which pushes the lower jaw forward. It may need to be periodically adjusted by your dentist, however many patients find it much easier to use.
Treatment for sleep apnea, or even bruxism, can give you your life back if you have been suffering. You may not realize how much your limited sleep and quality of sleep has been affecting your personal and work life until you recover. Ask Dr. Siegel today if you are grinding your teeth and you may be taking the first step towards feeling refreshed!