The National Institutes of Health define sleep apnea as a common disorder in which there are one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. This results in daytime sleepiness and can lead to severe health complications per NIH such as:
- Increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes
- Increased risk of, or worsen, heart failure
- Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats, more likely
- Increased chance of having work-related or driving accidents
We are trained in screening to assess for risk of having the condition and once diagnosed by a medical sleep specialist Grande Dental Care can provide intraoral appliances to maintain the airway open during sleep. Grande Dental Care has a website devoted to information about sleep apnea, its symptoms, dangers, diagnosis, and treatment. There is an online test you can take to find out if you might have sleep apnea.