If you ask Royal Palm cosmetic dentists, they will tell you that they are often the first professionals to identify that their patients are suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can result in a range of health complications while also having the potential to be life threatening. When someone has sleep apnea, they tend to stop breathing for about 10 seconds and sometimes more while asleep. In each of these episodes, the brain wakes up briefly to start breathing again. This results in poor-quality, fragmented sleep that doesn’t feel restful for the patient.
While the early signs of sleep apnea are not easily identified, the effects are definitely significant. The signs include excessive sleepiness during the day time, irritability from lack of sleep, not being able to function properly, insomnia along with excessive choking, gasping and snoring during sleep. As for the effects, they include not being able to function properly during day time, lack of physical health, fatigue and the high chances of getting into accidents. For instance, someone who has been suffering from sleep apnea has a high chance of getting into accidents by falling asleep at the wheel.
Snoring is one of the most prominent indicators of sleep apnea. With most other symptoms being rather subtle, most of the time, the diagnosis is made based on various pains and discomforts that linger on. The most noticeable signs include a dry mouth, headaches in the morning and lethargy. In some cases, your cosmetic dentist may discover your condition by identifying signs of bruxism. Unless you have a habit of grinding your teeth during the waking hours, your dentist is likely to suspect sleep apnea as a possible cause.
Once your dentist identifies or suspects sleep apnea in a patient, they will refer them to a sleep specialist or a physician to get a proper diagnosis. This will require an overnight sleep study known as polysomnography where you heart rate and breathing interrupting times are analyzed. Once the patient is diagnosed, then they can work with the doctor to figure out a proper treatment option.