It's Not Just Snoring: The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

That raspy, guttural sound you make when you’re sleeping isn’t just irritating to your partner and anyone else in the vicinity who’s trying to catch some zzzs. Snoring is often the first noticeable symptom of a potentially life-threatening condition called sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, you don’t just snore; you actually stop breathing multiple times a night.

What is sleep apnea?

An apnea is a pause in your breathing. If you have sleep apnea, you may stop breathing for anywhere from a second or two to several seconds, dozens or even hundreds of times a night. With each apnea, your body and brain are robbed of the essential oxygen you need to nourish and replenish your cells.

You may not realize you have sleep apnea or even that you snore. Often, a partner or family member is the first one to notice your snoring and potential sleep apnea. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include:

The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea and occurs when soft tissues in your mouth or neck shut off your airway. A less common type of sleep apnea  — central sleep apnea — occurs when your brain fails to remind your lungs to breathe while you sleep. If you snore, expert dentists Dr. Maqsood Chaudhry and Dr. H.R. Makarita, evaluate you for sleep apnea at Dental Center of Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia.

Why you need to treat sleep apnea

Because sleep apnea robs your body and all of its organs of oxygen, it increases your risk for potentially life-threatening conditions. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to:

If we determine that you have central sleep apnea or complex sleep apnea — which is a combination of obstructive and central types — we recommend you to a sleep clinic. However, if you have obstructive sleep apnea, we can treat you right on the premises.

Treating obstructive sleep apnea is easy

In the past, the only way to treat obstructive sleep apnea was with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)  or automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) masks. However, these devices are cumbersome and have a low compliance rate.

Instead, we offer a custom-designed oral appliance that repositions your jaw so that your airway is no longer obstructed by soft tissues, such as your tongue. The oral appliance looks like an athletic mouthguard, but you wear it while you sleep.  

We fit you for your oral appliance by taking physical and 3D impressions of your teeth and jaws. Within weeks, a special lab custom-crafts a device that prevents your tongue and other soft tissues from shutting off your airway while you sleep. Not only does the oral appliance stop you from snoring, you’ll sleep better and awake more refreshed because you’ve been able to get the oxygen and restorative rest that your body needs.

To find out if your snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, call us today, or send us a message about a sleep apnea consultation online. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Missing Tooth

Whether you lose a tooth in the front of your mouth or way in the back — where no one can see it — ignoring the gap puts your other teeth and your overall health at risk. Every missing tooth needs to be replaced. Here’s why:

The Dangers of Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

When your dentist tells you that you grind your teeth, it sounds a little creepy, but not that serious. However, bruxism can damage your teeth and increases your risk for other health conditions, such TMD and even sleep apnea.

Remedy a Gummy Smile With Veneers

You’re tired of covering up your smile just because you show too much gum. But injecting your upper lip every few months doesn’t sound like fun. Don’t worry. There’s another way.

7 Super Cool Facts About Invisalign That You Didn't Know

You’re tired of being called Bugs Bunny, but you don’t like the nickname “railroad mouth” either. Whether you’re a teen wanting straighter teeth or an adult who needs to fix a misaligned bite, super cool Invisalign® helps you without anyone knowing.