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What Is Sleep Apnea?


Woman covering ears while husband snoresHere’s a question you may have never thought you’d be hearing from us during your dental appointment: How are you sleeping? Good? Maybe not so much? If you’re waking up feeling tired and poorly rested, you have headaches in the morning, and you’ve been told that you snore at night, there’s a very high chance that you suffer from a condition called “sleep apnea.” While sleep apnea is fairly common, many of our patients are unaware of the dangers associated with it, including suffocation, heart attack, stroke, and even death. Here at Ranches Family Dental we know how dangerous sleep apnea can be, and we want our patients to be educated as to the risks associated with it and help them get treatment for it before it takes a deadly turn.

What are the Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea?


Many of our patients who are suffering from sleep apnea aren’t even aware that they have it. Sure, their significant others may be telling them that they are snoring at night, and they may wake up feeling poorly and tired throughout the day, but isn’t that fairly common for most people? Actually...no. If you’re noticing any of these common signs of sleep apnea, it’s vital that you get immediate treatment for this condition before it gets worse.
•  Waking up several times per hour
•  Choking and sputtering for air when you sleep
•  Dry mouth and sore throat
•  Daytime fatigue
•  Morning headache
•  Insomnia
•  Irritability and other mood changes

There are three primary types of sleep apnea, including:
•  Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is the most common type and occurs when your throat muscles relax as you sleep, blocking your airways.
•  Central Sleep Apnea. This type of sleep apnea is much more uncommon, and it happens when your brain fails to communicate with the muscles associated with breathing, causing you to stop breathing as you sleep.
•  Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. The rarest of the three types of sleep apnea, this is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common of the types of sleep apnea, has a variety of factors that can lead to its development. The most common risk of developing it is weight and sex, with overweight people and males having the highest prevalence of this condition. However, having enlarged tonsils, a narrow neck, smoking, advanced age, and chronic allergies or sinus infection can also trigger sleep apnea. Certain medications such as muscle relaxers and antidepressants are also linked with this condition.

While it may seem like the biggest problem that arises from sleep apnea is an annoyed significant other who is tired of your snoring, getting treatment for your sleep apnea is critical. If left untreated, it can lead to a host of complications such as:
•  Heart disease
•  High blood pressure
•  Diabetes
•  Liver problems
•  Stroke
•  Death

Whether you simply have questions about this condition or you want to schedule an appointment with a consultation for treatment, do not delay in calling us here at Ranches Family Dental at (385) 374-0500. We can quickly and accurately diagnose you for your sleep apnea and - if we determine that you do have this fairly common condition - we can start you on prompt, life-saving treatment including a CPAP machine or even oral appliance therapy.
3435 E. Pony Express Parkway Suite 110
Eagle Mountain, UT 84005
Monday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 7:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday by appointment
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