4 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea
Do you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night? What about during the day? Do you feel exhausted and like you need a nap on the daily? Most people think of only old, overweight men that develop sleep apnea. You would be surprised how many people we see that are fit, skinny, young and females that have mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea. This condition is not something you want to ignore, as it lowers your quality of life and you may not realize how good our bodies are designed to feel. Read up on some signs that could point towards sleep apnea that you may never have thought to blink twice about.
1. Morning Headaches and Jaw Pain/Tension
Since we are only listing 4 signs today, we figured we would combine these together since they kind of go hand in hand. If you find yourself waking up with headaches in the morning, this could mean you are clenching and grinding at night. This is a result of not getting enough oxygen when you sleep. Your body is fighting for air because your airway is blocked, causing the clenching and grinding. This leads to morning headaches, tooth and jaw pain, and tension, including tooth sensitivity.
2. Acid Reflux
Acid Reflux at night when you lay down to sleep is another sign of sleep apnea. It is very common to see a patient in the dental chair that complains of acid reflux and it is evident in their teeth as well. The acid breaks down the enamel, exposing the underlying tooth structure- dentin which leads to tooth sensitivity and excessive wear on the teeth. This can also cause issues with the lining of the esophagus and severe stomach issues if left untreated.
If you feel depressed on the daily and have other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, that may be the explanation for it. When your body is not getting enough oxygen at night while you sleep, the result is depression. This is due to the stress and your body not being able to compensate for the lack of oxygen. It is common to see patients with untreated sleep apnea taking depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure medications. It is also common for these patients to come off of these meds after treating their sleep apnea.
4. You Snore or Gasp for Air
Have you ever noticed yourself waking up from a loud snore? What about your heart racing and feeling short of breath? Maybe your bed partner is tapping you to change positions due to keeping them up at night. Sleep apnea is typically at its peak when lying on your back. When you turn to your side, it allows your tongue to be at a more relaxed state, not blocking your airway and able to take in more oxygen. If you find yourself gasping for air in the middle of the night, or snoring loudly on a nightly basis, it is time to address it.
Here at Dental Reflections Dublin, we offer comprehensive treatment, assessing the patient as a whole, to be able to recognize signs of sleep apnea. We offer an at-home sleep study and alternative treatment options to a CPAP for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Call our Dublin, OH office for a consultation at (614) 799-5576.