Sleep apnea is a disorder during which you repeatedly stop breathing in your sleep, and it’s typically marked by extremely loud and seemingly-erratic snoring. In fact, most patients become aware of their condition through the complaints of a sleeping partner, although sleep apnea is often treated as nothing more than an annoying habit rather than as a serious health condition. In case you don’t sleep with a partner, however, your Allen dentist, Dr. Marco Cueva, describes how you can detect the likelihood of sleep apnea by explaining its symptoms outside of snoring.

What Happens While You Sleep

There are two kinds of sleep apnea, both of which involve the cessation of breathing. Central sleep apnea describes when a neural misfire causes your chest muscles and diaphragm to stop working, while obstructive sleep apnea (the more common form) occurs when collapsed tissues in your mouth and throat close your airway. The sound of snoring comes when air squeezes past these collapsing tissues, making them vibrate violently. The sound grows louder as your airway shrinks until it completely closes, and after a few moments, your brain wakes your body enough to start breathing again. The cycle can repeat itself hundreds of times a night, but the loud snoring and oxygen deprivation don’t usually rouse you from consciousness.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea (Besides Snoring)

Even if you aren’t aware of the deep sleep and oxygen that your mind and body are losing, the deprivation can have serious and immediate effects on your daily life. Besides excessive snoring, common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include (but are not limited to);
  • Sore/dry throat when you wake up
  • Occasionally waking up choking or gasping for air (though rare)
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating/remembering
  • Unusual irritability
  • Chronic headaches, especially upon waking

Sleep Easier with Help from Your Allen Dentist

In most cases, Dr. Cueva can custom-design a special oral appliance that can help keep your jaw in a forward position while you sleep, preventing the collapse of your oral tissues and the closure of your airway. To learn more about how to treat sleep apnea and finally achieve the rest you need, schedule an appointment with your Allen dentist by calling (972) 390-9944 today. Located in the 75013 area, we proudly welcome patients from Allen, Plano, Richardson, McKinney, Frisco, Fairview, Murphy, Wylie, Lewisville, Carrolton, and surrounding communities.