3 Reasons Sleep Apnea Needs to Be Treated

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder estimated to affect around 20 million adults in the United States. Although the condition is common, there are still many undiagnosed cases. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), up to 80 percent of people with sleep apnea do not go for a diagnosis.

Some people experience only mild symptoms of sleep apnea and therefore, do not see their symptoms as a sleep disorder. Many others do not understand the severe implications of untreated sleep apnea. Interestingly, sleep apnea is easy to treat using therapies such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

Why Sleep Apnea Needs to Be Treated

The following are reasons patients should visit the dentist for sleep apnea treatment:

Poor Sleep Quality

Sleep apnea does not only cause irritating snoring sounds, but it also affects the quality of the person’s sleep. During an episode of sleep apnea, the collapsed tissues in the upper respiratory tract prevent oxygen from reaching the lungs. This triggers the brain to stir out of a certain stage of sleep to send signals to the respiratory muscles to try harder to open up the airways. This could happen several times in an hour.

As the brain gets stirred to sustain breathing, it is not sleeping well enough. The time the brain spends resting is required to initiate body repairs, save memories, and enhance cognitive functions. The distractions prevent the brain from finishing its work in the night, which is why many sleep apnea patients struggle to stay attentive during the day.

When patients get sleep apnea treatment, the brain will be able to perform its functions properly without interruptions. When it functions optimally, the body and mind will get required rest to keep the person awake and alert the following day.

Implications on long-term health

Several studies published by the AASM show the association between untreated sleep apnea and an array of illnesses and medical problems. Such health problems include:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cancer

Treating sleep apnea lowers blood pressure and reduces the chances of cardiovascular problems such as arrhythmias, heart failures, and heart disease.

Estimates from AASM also show that people with moderate to severe sleep apnea are more prone to death, stroke, death from cancer, and are more likely to develop cancer. Sleep apnea does not affect sleep only; it affects a person’s health and life.

Morning headaches

Sleep apnea often causes morning headaches. When breathing stops, the carbon dioxide levels in the blood increases, and oxygen levels drop. This causes the blood vessels to dilate. Dilation of the blood vessels located in the head causes vascular headaches. The headache typically disappears soon after waking up, but treating sleep apnea will ensure the person never has to deal with the headaches.

Final note

The harmful effects of untreated sleep apnea are many, and should not be taken lightly. If you detect any sign of sleep apnea or feel you are not sleeping well enough, visit the dentist for sleep evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://whiteflintfamilydental.com or call White Flint Family Dental at (301) 273-1085 for an appointment in our Rockville office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

At What Age Should A Child First See A Pediatric Dentist?

It is recommended that children should first see a pediatric dentist at the age of 1 or six months after the first tooth appears. Some parents think it is not important to bring a child to see a dentist until an older age and all the teeth are in, but this can be too late…

Caring For Implant Supported Dentures

Just like natural teeth, implant supported dentures need a lot of love and concern. If you want the implants and appliance to do their jobs effectively, you need to do your part to maintain them. Failure to take good care of your dentures could add hassles and stress to your life. Your dentist will help…

Important General Dentistry Treatments And Procedures For Oral Health

Your general dentist does more than examine and clean your teeth. Your general/family dentist also provides treatments and procedures to improve the health of your gums and teeth. These procedures are critical for maintaining a healthy smile. Learn more about the procedures you can get at the dentist.General dentists provide patients with a wealth of…

How Can Missing Teeth Affect Invisalign Treatment?

For millions of people, the Invisalign treatment has made a significant difference in how their teeth look and function. If you have a problem with your teeth, this might be the right solution for you too. A great way to find out is to talk to a general dentist. With a consultation and examination, you…

Recent Posts

At What Age Should A Child First See A Pediatric Dentist?

At What Age Should A Child First See A Pediatric Dentist?

It is recommended that children should first see a pediatric dentist at the age of 1 or six months after the first tooth appears. Some parents think it is not important to bring a child to see a dentist until an older age and all the teeth are in, but this can be too late…

Caring For Implant Supported Dentures

Caring For Implant Supported Dentures

Just like natural teeth, implant supported dentures need a lot of love and concern. If you want the implants and appliance to do their jobs effectively, you need to do your part to maintain them. Failure to take good care of your dentures could add hassles and stress to your life. Your dentist will help…