According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, over 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. If left untreated, this serious condition can have severe consequences that go far beyond just feeling daytime drowsiness. What can you do to make your symptoms of sleep apnea in Phillipsburg go away? A dentist explores what factors contribute to obstructive sleep apnea and why you should not count on your sleep apnea to go away on its own.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted while sleeping for several seconds or more at a time. The most common form of the disorder, known as obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when a person’s throat and airway becomes partially or fully blocked by the tongue or neck tissue.
While sleep apnea often causes drowsiness and irritation, it has also been linked to many other serious health problems, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Weight gain
Does Sleep Apnea Ever Just Disappear?
In general, obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition that does not go away on its own. This is especially true if you are an adult, as your anatomy tends to remain fixed from adolescence onwards.
There are numerous factors that can cause obstructive sleep apnea, many of which relate to a person’s anatomy. For example, if you tend to sleep on your back, your tongue may fall into your throat and block the airway.
A deviated nasal septum, narrowed nasal passageways, big tonsils or even a large tongue are all anatomical factors that can disrupt airflow while you sleep. Weight gain, especially if it leads to more fatty tissue around the neck, may also worsen the situation.
If any of the anatomical factors mentioned above are contributing to your sleep apnea, your symptoms are unlikely to go away on their own.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea in Phillipsburg
While your sleep apnea will probably not magically disappear, the good news is that effective treatments are available that can dramatically reduce your symptoms. Specifically, oral appliance therapy from your dentist in Phillipsburg!
An oral appliance is a small mouthpiece that repositions the jaw to prevent the blockage of airflow. Wearing an oral appliance consistently at night can significantly improve your quality of sleep and reduce the health risks linked to obstructive sleep apnea.
In addition, there are also actions you can take in your day-to-day life to try to get your sleep apnea under control. For example, in cases where obesity contributes to obstructive sleep apnea, weight loss achieved through diet and exercise can help reduce symptoms of sleep apnea.
Quitting smoking and limiting caffeine consumption has also been found to reduce sleep apnea symptoms in some cases.
While making these behavioral changes may get rid of your condition entirely, most people will require ongoing professional treatment. Contact your dentist today to get started on reclaiming the quality rest your body needs and deserves.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey DeMartino has over 30 years of experience providing quality oral care, including sleep apnea treatment. A second-generation dentist, he has been named one of the “Top Dentists in America” by the Consumer’s Research Council of America. To learn more about sleep apnea in Phillipsburg, visit the DeMartino Dental Group website or call 908-859-5260.
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