Richmond Dentist Explores Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Feb 22nd, 2013 | By | Category: General Dentistry, Sleep Apnea

sleep apneaSleep can be one of the most important tools in your continued good health. Without it, your mind and body would not receive the rest they need to heal and rejuvenate. Unfortunately, there are numerous issues that can prevent you from achieving this rest, some of which you may not even realize are a problem until sleep deprivation manifests itself in your daily life. To help stay vigilant about maintaining your body’s natural rhythms, Richmond dentist, Dr. Stefan Moiceanu, explores the mechanisms behind one common sleep problem that you may not be aware of—sleep apnea.

The Anatomy of Sleep Apnea

When you sleep, your oral tissues relax and can partially block your airway. Typically, this obstruction is minimal and does not affect your nighttime breathing. Sometimes, the obstruction can be enough to cause vibrations as air squeezes past the tightly compacted tissues, causing the sound you may know as snoring. In some cases, however, the muscles and tissues in your mouth and throat can compress tightly enough to completely block your airway, causing you to stop breathing. Lack of oxygen is one of your body’s most alarming signals, and after ten seconds or more, your mind will wake your body enough to restart the breathing process. Sleep apnea patients are not usually aware of these episodes, but their sleeping partners will notice patterns of extremely loud snoring, followed by a moment or two of silence, and then a gasp as the body regains its breath.  

The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Apnic episodes can repeat hundreds of times a night, depriving your mind and body of much needed deep sleep. While you may not be aware of the episodes themselves, you may be more aware of the symptoms of sleep deprivation that can result from it, including (but not limited to);

  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Awaking with a dry mouth, or a sore throat
  • Frequent and/or severe headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating/paying attention
  • Noticeably increased irritability

Treat Sleep Apnea with Help from Your Richmond Dentist

If you experience these or other symptoms of sleep deprivation, or if your partner complains that your snoring is unacceptable, contact Dr. Moiceanu today to determine if you have sleep apnea. You can schedule a consultation in Richmond by calling Hilltop Family Dental at 510-758-7222. Located in the 94806 area, we proudly serve families from Richmond, Berkeley, San Pablo, Pinole, Benicia, Vallejo, and the surrounding communities.

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