For many people, getting a good night’s sleep is something that happens naturally and without a second thought. You’re tired, you fall asleep, enjoy sleeping, and wake up rested and ready to tackle the day. For other people, sleep isn’t restful at all. While they might think they’re getting the sleep they need, they are actually putting themselves at risk.
An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and out of those people, approximately 80% of cases of moderate or severe sleep apnea are undiagnosed. In an effort to help everyone enjoy a great night’s sleep and a better quality of life, Dr. Tiffany Dudley and the Spodak Dental Group team invite patients to take a quick in-office sleep study to assess their sleep apnea risk level.
After all, there’s no good reason to hit the snooze button on sleep apnea, especially for the following three reasons:
Snoring and sleep apnea aren’t the same!
Knowing the difference between snoring and sleep apnea is the first step is determining proper treatment. If you’re tired of getting nudged in the middle of the night by your sleeping partner, or of hearing that your sleeping partner can’t sleep well because of your loud snoring, figuring out a way to stop can help you both.
Snoring happens when the tissues in the throat relax enough so that they partially block the airway and vibrate. Depending on the person’s anatomy and lifestyle factors (weight, alcohol consumptions, etc.), the sound of the vibration can be softer or louder.
However, loud and frequent snoring is one of the primary indicators of sleep apnea. Characterized as a chronic condition wherein a person suffers from pauses in breathing or takes shallow breaths during sleep, people with sleep apnea can actually stop breathing for 10 seconds or even up to a minute, many times throughout the night.
Sleep Apnea can contribute to other issues in the body.
While it might seem that sleep apnea will only cause you to wake up tired and feel sleepy throughout the day, there are many other bodily issues that are connected. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can contribute to heart disease, diabetes and other long-term health risks.
Additionally, sleep apnea can lead or contribute to:
• memory loss,
• acid reflux,
• mental confusion,
• adult asthma,
• weakened immune system,
• breathing troubles,
• high blood pressure,
• liver and heart problems,
• low blood oxygen levels,
• abnormal cholesterol,
• high blood sugar levels
• and fatigue
Not treating your sleep apnea can take years off your life.
Sleep apnea is dangerous because if left untreated it can lead to high blood pressure, as well as an increased risk for heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure. Studies have shown that sleep apnea can decrease life expectancy by several years, so it’s important to take the steps now to determine if you have sleep apnea and ways to correct it.
The Spodak Dental Group team is able to treat each patient on a comprehensive level. So not only can we recognize risks of sleep, we can also help to improve our patients’ quality of life by offering sleep apnea treatment. The reality is that we are prescribing sleep, not pills to sleep, but helping your body to sleep as it’s intended.
Because there’s a large segment of the population that has a sleep-related breathing disorder, Dr. Dudley has taken the necessary extra steps to be able to treat those patients and help them get a restful night’s sleep, which can usually be remedied with a small oral appliance device.
Dr. Dudley is the first dentist in Delray Beach to earn the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine Qualified Dental distinction. In addition, in 2019, Dr. Dudley became an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) Diplomate. Earning Diplomate status from the ABDSM is a unique honor that recognizes special competency in dental sleep medicine. Both of these distinctions continue to advance her role in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing for the benefit of her patients.
If you’d like more information on sleep apnea or would like to visit Spodak Dental Group for a complimentary sleep screener, please call or text (561) 303-2413.