Sleep Apnea & Snoring An Overview
Sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing are growing health concerns affecting millions of patients nationwide. In addition to the impact on your ability to feel well-rested, sleep disorders can also increase your risk for major health issues including sudden stroke and heart attack.
Dr. Carole Thoman has advanced training in dental sleep medicine and is committed to helping patients identify their risk for sleep apnea and get the appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment. She works with local physicians who can coordinate a sleep study to thoroughly analyze your symptoms and recommend the most appropriate way to treat them and to minimize associated health risks.
What are the signs of sleep apnea?
Although snoring is the most commonly recognized sign of a sleep disorder, all snoring is not indicative of sleep apnea and there is a range of other symptoms that patients should be aware of, including:
- Feeling groggy in the morning, tired throughout the day
- Dry mouth upon waking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability, moodiness
There are also important risk factors for sleep apnea and understanding your own risk can help you to seek treatment early and avoid complex problems. These can include:
- Being male
- Hypertensive, high blood pressure
- Being overweight, obese
- Large neck circumference
Dr. Thoman will also look for common oral signs of a sleep disorder such as large tonsils and worn teeth. These and other risk factors can allow the soft tissue at the back of the throat to collapse when asleep, causing both snoring and in sleep apnea, the momentary cessation of normal breathing. The best way to minimize experiencing the detrimental effects of a sleep disorder is to discuss your risk factors and concerns during routine dental visits.