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The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Some 2-9% of American adults have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, and many cases go undiagnosed. More men than women have sleep apnea, and the most common symptom is snoring. 

You may be wondering why there’s a post about sleep apnea on a dentist’s blog. Dr. Melissa Daza and Dr. Michelle Schwartz at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental are trained in working with patients who have sleep apnea

Some people respond well to treatment with a dental appliance, and we can custom-make an appliance to fit you perfectly. 

Snoring and sleep apnea

Snoring may be annoying and it may be the topic of jokes, but it’s also cause for alarm. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing while you’re sleeping. 

Some other common symptoms of sleep apnea include: 

Different types of sleep apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Here, we explain the differences.

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. When you have it, the tissues at the back of your throat collapse and temporarily block your airway. It can make high blood pressure worse and can contribute to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. 

Central sleep apnea

This type of sleep apnea is far less common. It’s a malfunction of your central nervous system, which fails to send the signals that tell your body to continue breathing. It’s often related to some other condition, such as heart disease. 

Complex sleep apnea

Complex sleep apnea involves both of the other types. 

Risk factors for sleep apnea

Anyone can develop sleep apnea, but some people are at a greater risk compared to others. You’re more likely to develop sleep apnea if you: 

Why talk to your dentist

When you come in for a dental appointment, we check for signs of sleep apnea, such as ground down or cracked teeth. Many people who have sleep apnea sleep with their mouths open, which may contribute to tooth decay or erosion of the tooth enamel. 

In cases of obstructive sleep apnea, a specially designed dental appliance can help keep the tissue at the back of your throat from collapsing and blocking your airways.

If you’re a snorer, or you have other symptoms of sleep apnea, schedule an appointment at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental in Chicago, Illinois. We may be able to help.

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