According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, “sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, have become a significant health issue in the United States. It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.” These statistics most likely surprise you, that’s because most people with this condition do not realize it. The ASAA estimates that a whopping 80 percent of obstructive sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed. Unfortunately, the widespread lack of information about this condition causes millions of people to simply suffer through it or, even worse, develop complications like stroke or heart disease as a result of it. At our dental practice and Main Line Snoring Solutions office, Dr. Stephen J. Gershberg and our team are committed to raising awareness about obstructive sleep apnea and treating it to help our patients rest more easily.
Do you find yourself dozing off during the day at work or school, or during regular activities?
If numerous sleep apneas interrupt your sleep, you may experience persistent fatigue, making it difficult to get through your day. Struggling to remain awake at your desk, in the car, or on the couch could be a sign that you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
Do you have difficulty remembering things or focusing?
Not getting the quality sleep you need can affect your mental capabilities, including your memory and ability to concentrate.
Do you frequently feel irritable, anxious, or moody?
Getting enough rest is also pivotal for your emotional and psychological wellbeing. If your body is exhausted, you may feel annoyed by the small things in life or experience bouts of depression and anxiety. Changes in your personality and disposition could be related to obstructive sleep apnea.
Do you tend to wake up with a headache or sore throat?
Waking up throughout the night and not getting proper airflow through the mouth can cause headache and sore throat symptoms upon waking.
Does your mouth feel very dry or sticky at the start of the day?
Obstructive sleep apnea results from the improper positioning of the mouth, jaw, soft palate, and other oral tissues. This circumstance can also interfere with your oral moisture and hydration, leading to xerostomia (dry mouth) symptoms, which can increase your risk for cavities and gum disease, as well as being uncomfortable.
Do you snore?
The collapse of throat tissues that can lead to obstructive sleep apnea can also cause snoring, the sound that occurs when air attempts to pass through them.
Do you awaken during the night gasping for air?
Some people remain somewhat unconscious during their apneas, but others awaken more fully and remember gasping for air throughout the night.
Is your neck particularly large?
In many cases, people with larger, thicker necks have naturally narrower air passages, increasing their risks for obstructive sleep apnea.
Do you smoke or drink alcohol to excess?
These potentially harmful habits can interfere with your body’s function during sleep and make you more prone to this condition.
Are you overweight, male, or African American?
Unfortunately, all of these characteristics make a person more vulnerable to obstructive sleep apnea.
Our Bryn Mawr Dentist Can Help Treat Your Sleep Apnea
Dr. Gershberg has developed his extensive dental knowledge and expertise over the past 30 years. He uses his skills to help patients in the Philadelphia area and the Main Line better understand and improve their oral and general health. If you believe you may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, please call Main Line Snoring Solutions at 610-527 6700 for more information and to schedule a consultation.