Do You Stop Breathing in Your Sleep? And Other Sleep Apnea Questions

Dec 21st, 2012 | By | Category: Richmond Dentist, Sleep Apnea

Sleep ApneaDid you know that, if you snore excessively, you should seek treatment at your dentist’s office?  Dentistry today encompasses more than treating a toothache; dental health also concerns illnesses and symptoms that affect all structures of your dental health. For instance, snoring occurs when the soft tissues in your throat and mouth relax too much when you sleep. The tissues collapse and snoring is the sound they make when air squeezes past them. Sometimes, however, these tissues become so compressed that air can’t squeeze past them, and they effectively stop your breathing. So what does this mean for your oral and overall health? Take the sleep apnea quiz below, provided by Richmond family dentist, Dr. Stefan Moiceanu, to test how much you know about the mysterious sleep disorder.

Sleep Apnea Quiz

How do you know when snoring is actually sleep apnea?

Unless you sleep with a partner, or snore loud enough to wake yourself completely up, you may not even realize the noise you make in your sleep. The same is largely true for sleep apnea, as well. The difference, though, is that sleep apnea deprives you of much-needed deep sleep, often resulting in symptoms of sleep deprivation (i.e., daytime fatigue, irritability, reduced ability to concentrate, etc.). If you experience these symptoms, see your Richmond dentist as soon as possible to determine if you may be suffering from sleep apnea.

How is it possible to not know that you’re losing sleep?

The word apnea means, “to lose sleep,” but how is that possible without you being aware of it? During an apnic episode, your breathing will cease for ten seconds or more due to the collapsed tissue (sleep apnea is marked by extremely loud snoring, followed by silence as breathing ceases). Your body panics when its oxygen supply is interrupted, especially your brain, and it wakes just enough to restart the breathing process. These episodes can occur hundreds of times a night, preventing your body from falling into the deep REM sleep that your body and mind need to rejuvenate themselves.

How do you treat sleep apnea?

If you believe you may have sleep apnea, a sleep test may be required for an accurate diagnosis. Treating sleep apnea typically depends on its severity, but for the most common cases, Dr. Moiceanu recommends a small sleepguard (similar to a mouthguard worn during sports). The appliance helps support your jaw to prevent soft tissue collapse and prevent sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Richmond

To learn more about sleep apnea symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Moiceanu, contact our Richmond, CA dentist office by calling 510-758-7222. Located in Richmond, we proudly serve families from Berkeley, San Pablo, Pinole, Benicia, Vallejo, and the surrounding communities.

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