Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that 22 million people in the United States have sleep apnea, which puts them at risk from problems that range from a mild nuisance to very serious.

Dr. Mohammed Mansour and the team of dental health experts here at Plano Dental Distinction are well aware of the complications of sleep apnea, which is why we offer an oral device that can help everyone breathe easier at night.

Sleep apnea basics

There are several types of sleep apnea, but we’re going to focus on the one that’s far and away the most common — obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA is a condition in which the muscles in your upper airways relax while you sleep, causing the soft tissues to collapse and block your ability to breathe. Each time this happens, your brain rouses you just enough so that you can clear the airway again.

If this happened just once or twice during the night, OSA might not be all that problematic. Unfortunately, these airway blockages typically occur often while you sleep — up to 30 times per hour.

Complications of sleep apnea

One of the more obvious complaints with sleep apnea is daytime fatigue (for both you and your bed partner), as people with this condition simply aren’t getting the restorative sleep they need.

While restorative sleep certainly plays a key role in how well-rested you feel, let’s take a look at what else happens when you sleep deeply, namely:

Given all that takes place in your body when you sleep, you can see how sleep apnea can disrupt these processes, leaving you more vulnerable to a wide range of conditions, including:

As you can see, these potential complications of sleep apnea are very serious, and can even be life-threatening if the condition isn’t treated properly.

Treating sleep apnea

The good news is that treating sleep apnea is relatively easy — we simply outfit you with an oral device that prevents your OSA from robbing you of much-needed sleep.

The device we’re referring to is called a mandibular advancement device (MAD), which pulls your lower jaw forward, preventing the back of your throat from closing. The MAD is customized to fit your mouth, and most of our patients adjust to the device quickly, especially when they realize how well they’re sleeping.

To avoid the serious complications that can stem from untreated sleep apnea, contact our office in Plano, Texas, so that we can treat the problem, which allows everyone to sleep easier.

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