The Dangers of Sleep Apnea (And How Your Bingham Farms Dentist Can Help)

Just about every person in Michigan knows someone who snores, either because they share a bed with this person every night or have been in the same room with them as they’ve napped (rather loudly) on their favorite recliner. Snoring, however, becomes a much bigger problem when it turns into sleep apnea, a condition where something blocks all or part of the upper airway while a person sleeps.

If you’ve ever heard someone suffering with side effects from sleep apnea, it can be a bit scary, as it sometimes sounds like they’ve momentarily stopped breathing, only to restart with a gasp, a snort, or a jerk. People with sleep apnea are not getting a good night’s sleep, and neither are the people sleeping alongside them, but there are a lot more reasons to worry about this condition than just feeling a little tired the next day. Jamestowne South Dental Cracchiolo and his team at Perfecting Your Smile want to have a look at these hidden dangers and suggest some sleep apnea treatment options to help.

Five Ways Sleep Apnea Can Impact Your Health

1. Higher Blood Pressure

While sleep apnea doesn’t necessarily cause high blood pressure in people with no history of it, those who had it already can see it get worse with the condition. Patients with a high BP often see their numbers improve once they’ve begun treating their apnea.

2. Increased Risk of Heart Disease & Stroke

Because sleep apnea negatively impacts how well the body can take in oxygen, a body can’t properly control how blood flows in your arteries, leading to increased potential for heart attacks and strokes.

3. Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

One study showed that 80% of people with sleep apnea also had type 2 diabetes. While there are no studies that show a direct link, lack of sleep can impact how your body uses insulin, which can lead to a higher risk of contracting diabetes.

4. Weight Gain

It sounds improbable, but there are clear links to sleep apnea and weight gain. For starters, there is a strong correlation between obesity and sleep apnea, but having sleep apnea can make it harder to maintain a healthy weight. Sleep apnea releases more of a hormone called ghrelin, which makes you crave more sweets and carbohydrates. That, combined with sleepiness making it harder to resist temptation with food often leads to adding a few pounds.

5. More Potential for Auto Accidents

If you’re not hitting those REM cycles at night, you’re going to be sleepier the following day. And if you’re sleepier the following day, it’s going to make you more dangerous behind the wheel of your car. In fact, people with sleep apnea are five times more likely to get into a traffic accident than a “normal” sleeper.

How Jamestowne South Dental Can Help with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

We know that sleep apnea is bad, and thanks to the information above, we know exactly what types of issues it can cause. Now the question becomes, what do we do about it? Jamestowne South Dental and his team can put together dental devices for sleep apnea treatment. These are a tremendous boon for people who aren’t interested in or can’t afford a CPAP machine.

Jamestowne South Dental can prescribe a Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP®) device, which holds the lower jaw in a forward position while you sleep so it can’t fall open and cause the airway to collapse. It often reduces snoring and improves sleep apnea.

If you’re interested in learning more about the TAP® to avoid the negatives that often come with sleep apnea, give us a call to set up an appointment at your earliest convenience!