Sleep Apnea

Sleep is an essential function of our health and well-being. If you are always tired or find yourself waking up with a dry or sore throat, see us at CS Family Dentistry for an evaluation. Dr. Cole Smith can determine whether you suffer from sleep apnea and help treat you so that you can finally have a good night’s rest.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes an involuntary cessation of breath during sleep. The main types of sleep apnea are: central, mixed, and obstructive. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common; however, all three can cause patients to stop breathing throughout the night.

During sleep apnea, the brain may not get enough oxygen due to a blockage of your airway, usually because the throat and tongue muscles relax. When this occurs, your brain signals your body to wake up and resume breathing, which interrupts sleep and can cause loud snoring or gasping for air.  In many cases, the patient may not even be aware that they’ve stopped breathing as they don’t completely wake up. Lots of times, patients are told by their partners or family about their snoring or gasping. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

If you are tired even after a full night’s sleep, you should consider asking Dr. Cole Smith to conduct a sleep apnea test. Other common symptoms that many patients with sleep apnea experience include:

  • Waking up with a sore or dry throat
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Loud and excessive snoring
  • Waking up to choking or gasping 
  • Sleepiness all-day
  • Lack of energy
  • Headaches after waking up
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in mood
  • Insomnia

The Effects of Sleep Apnea

People who suffer from sleep apnea often feel fatigued, low energy, and sometimes have headaches. Your day-to-day habits and hobbies can be put to the side because of the low energy and willpower that lack of sleep causes. Work performance might slack due to lack of concentration. 

If left untreated, sleep apnea can affect a variety of health issues, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Headache

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

A top choice treatment for many patients with sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. During this process, the patient wears a mask during sleep, and the mask is connected to a machine that blows air into your nose and mouth continuously so that the airway remains open. Many of our Bastrop patients find this sleep apnea therapy effective.

Another effective treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy (OAT). This treatment utilizes a removable oral appliance that fits in your mouth while you sleep. This device is similar to a mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. The oral appliance prevents your airway from collapsing by supporting your jaw in a forward position or by holding the tongue. 

Call to Schedule a Sleep Apnea Examination

If you suspect that your fatigue and lack of sleep are a result of sleep apnea, or you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and want to know your options, give CS Family Dentistry a call today. Dr. Cole Smith will work with your insurance to ensure that you are correctly diagnosed and he can recommend sleep apnea therapy to help you get the quality of sleep that you (and your partner) deserve.