This is the time of year some Americans find themselves in a slump. The days are shorter. Work seems longer. And if you’ve lost close family members, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. You are probably aware that millions of Americans suffer from depression. It’s a serious issue in this country. You might be asking what your Plano dentist can do about depression.
Well, a recent study has discovered a connection between sleep apnea and depression. Sleep apnea is a dangerous problem on its own, but I’m not surprised that it also is closely related to sleep apnea. First off, sleep apnea can be fatal. Patients with untreated sleep apnea can die suddenly or increase their risk of potentially life-threatening problems like heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain.
But sleep apnea can also take a toll on your emotions. Today I want to explain why. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when tissue blocks the airway during sleep. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to your body to breathe. Obstructive is the most common form of sleep apnea and is often accompanied by heavy snoring.
Patients with sleep apnea often wake up several times a night gasping for air. In serious case, patients with untreated sleep apnea can wake up 30 times an hour. As you might imagine, these disruptions in sleep pose a problem. Here are just a few symptoms of sleep apnea.
– Loud snoring, choking, or gasping
– Waking up often to go the bathroom
– Waking up but still feeling tired
– Long pauses in breathing
– Pounding headaches in the morning
– Daytime fatigue
– Mood swings or emotional unrest
– Decrease in sex drive
– Memory problems
Frequent sleepiness is an extremely dangerous symptoms of sleep apnea. I’ve read stories where people with sleep apnea have fallen asleep while driving, creating a potentially horrible situation for themselves and others. You can probably see by this point that each of these symptoms can lead to problems with depression. Sleep affects your overall body and mood, so it’s important to treat sleep apnea issues when they arise.
Here’s How We Treat Sleep Apnea at Our Plano Dental Office
Sleep apnea is a complicated issue, and it’s not also clear. In many cases, we can examine the oral cavity for obstructions, but more often than not, we’ll coordinate a sleep study. The study will pinpoint the presence and severity of any sleep apnea issue. During the sleep test, the physician will even test out sleep apnea solutions to see the results.
Most dental offices or sleep physicians use a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea. Thais is a great way to keep the airways open during sleep, but our office uses a modern, comfortable oral appliance to resolve your sleep apnea issues. The oral appliance fits over the lower teeth and moves the lower jaw forward to keep the airways open while you sleep. Our patients find that the oral appliance is comfortable and noninvasive. They start seeing results after wearing the device for a few days.
Sleep apnea is a serious problem that can drastically change the course of your life. If you have been told that you snore loud enough to wake the dead or have found that you’re constantly tired, you might need to get checked out. Call our office immediately at 972-905-9266 or use our form online to request a visit.