The Dangers of living with untreated Sleep Apnea

dangers of sleep apneaMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Do you, or someone you love, have sleep apnea? If so, it is so important that you seek treatment. Ignoring sleep apnea, or just thinking it will go away on its own, is the worst decision you can make. Your sleep apnea dentists in Miami at Miami Designer Smiles wanted to explain the dangers of living with this sleep breathing disorder when it is left untreated.

Chronic sleep loss can impact your physical and mental well-being 

Here’s what happens to a person living with sleep apnea. Each time an attack occurs, the airway becomes obscured or totally blocked, interrupting the flow of air. You might not wake up consciously, but each time one of these blockages happens, your sleep is disrupted. Are you a restless sleeper? Do you wake up multiple times per night to use the bathroom? These are both examples of ways your brain will wake up the body to resume breathing. Each time one of these apnea blockages happens, the sleep cycle is disrupted, meaning you either do not spend enough time in the deepest stage of sleep—or never enter that deepest stage altogether. This deep REM sleep is crucial to the restoration of your mind and body, and going without it can have consequences that include morning headaches, getting confused easily or even memory problems. You also will feel fatigued during the day, which can risk lives if you are driving or operating machinery!

Sleep deprivation has social consequences as well 

People living with long-term sleep loss often report mood swings and irritability. Over time, sleep deprivation can lead to depression, which can make you withdraw from family and friends. Depression also can lead to weight gain, which can magnify an existing case of sleep apnea, and perpetuate what becomes a vicious and dangerous cycle.

Treating sleep apnea without CPAP  

Across all of medical science, CPAP is considered the industry standard when it comes to treating sleep apnea. Standing for continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP consists of wearing a mask during sleep that is connected to a machine that provides a constant flow of air, keeping your airway open and preventing the blockages that occur during a sleep apnea attack. Unfortunately, many people who use CPAP have trouble tolerating the use of the machine over the long term, and not using a prescribed CPAP machine is just as bad as ignoring a case of sleep apnea altogether.

Miami Designer Smiles prefers to treat sleep apnea through the use of oral appliance therapy. These oral appliances look like a hybrid between a mouth guard and an orthodontic retainer, and they are made from the finest materials available. Moreover, our oral appliances in Miami are made from specific impressions of your teeth and mouth, making sure that they fit as securely and comfortably as possible. When worn during sleep, the oral appliance adjusts the alignment of your bite, moving the lower jaw forward and helping keep open the airway. Oral appliance therapy is less cumbersome than CPAP, has a higher compliance rate, and will have the same result—helping you get the restful sleep you have been denied for far too long!

Oral appliance therapy in Miami

Not every dentist is qualified to work with cases of sleep apnea. At Miami Designer Smiles, our staff includes Dr. Raul Garcia and Dr. Conchi Sanchez-Garcia, both of whom belong to both the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). They have the training and experience to identify sleep apnea and then provide treatment. To learn more about our program of sleep apnea dentistry, call our office at (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation.

Miami Designer Smiles is here to serve the oral health needs of patients in Miami and Coral Gables, Florida.