The Consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens during sleep when the tongue and soft palate falls to the back of the throat and completely blocks the airway. This shuts off the oxygen intake and you can’t breathe. Your sleep then gets interrupted many times during the night and results in a poor night’s sleep. People with OSA are constantly tired, fall asleep easily during the day, are irritable, have trouble concentrating, exhibit impotency and sexual dysfunction, and can have bad breath.
It is estimated that OSA affects up to 40 million Americans with less than 10% of the OSA sufferers diagnosed. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can triple the stroke risk in men, and 50% of the patients with OSA have hypertension increasing the risk of heart attacks. Untreated OSA can take up to 12 years off your life and increase the risk of death by 46%. This makes it more dangerous than smoking!
Depending on the severity, OSA treatment options include oral appliance therapy, CPAP, and surgery. Many times, teeth grinding is directly related to having OSA. Teeth grinding (bruxism) is the brain’s way of moving the jaw forward to open the airway so you can breathe. OSA, teeth grinding, neck pain, TMJ, and headaches often occur all together.
Dr. Junee Gardy can help manage your OSA, grinding, neck pain and snoring. Ask us today about excellent alternatives for living with bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea, and how we can help you get a good night’s rest.