Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville, TN
Are you keeping your partner awake with your snoring? Do you find yourself often feeling tired during the day, no matter how many hours of sleep you got the previous night? Both of these behaviors can be warning signs of sleep apnea, a serious and potentially life-threatening sleep breathing disorder. Fortunately, trained medical professionals like the Greeneville sleep apnea dentists at Tusculum Dental Care can diagnose and treat sleep apnea.
Let’s learn more about this disorder, its potential risks, and how we provide relief.
What is sleep apnea?
A patient who suffers from sleep apnea experiences a blockage of the airway while sleeping. These blockages can be partial or complete, impeding or altogether interrupting breathing. When a collapse occurs, the brain sends signals to the body that it needs to breathe. In many instances, a sleep apnea patient never fully wakes; instead, the brain wakes just enough to send these signals, disrupting the sleep cycle and depriving a person of the restoration to mind and body that occur during the deepest stage of sleep. These blockages may occur hundreds of times per night in a patient with an advanced case of untreated sleep apnea.
What are the symptoms and risks of sleep apnea?
Loud snoring is considered a major warning sign of sleep apnea. If you or a member of your family snores, in combination with any of the following issues, then you could suffer from sleep apnea.
Other symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating or memory issues
- Irritability or mood swings
- Tossing and turning during sleep
- Diminished libido, up to and including total impotence
- Weight gain
- Poor performance at work or school
In children, sleep apnea often manifests with symptoms similar to ADD or ADHD. If your child has been diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder, but he or she is not responding to the usual treatments, then the behavior problems actually could be stemming from a sleep breathing disorder.
What happens when sleep apnea is left untreated?
Left untreated, a patient suffering from sleep apnea faces a significantly increased risk of developing several chronic, systemic, and life-threatening health problems, such as:
- Cardiac disease
- High blood pressure and/or stroke
- Cognitive decline
Tusculum Dental Care is proud to offer services in the area of sleep apnea dentistry, a specialization of dental science that focuses on the health of the airway. A sleep apnea dentist uses their training and experience, in combination with cutting-edge technology, to diagnose and treat the disorder by addressing the airway issue that is causing a case of sleep apnea. Diagnosis may occur in the form of a sleep study or an airway evaluation. If you are diagnosed, then our Greeneville sleep apnea dentists prefer to treat the problem through oral appliance therapy. Wearing a custom-made orthotic mouthpiece guides the lower jaw into the ideal forward resting position, which is with lips together, teeth together, and tongue resting gently against the roof of the mouth—and, with it, encourage a wider and open airway even when you sleep.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Greeneville, Jonesborough
If you or a member of your family has sleep apnea, seek professional medical help as soon as possible. This disorder will not go away on its own and, as noted above, the risks magnify over time if diagnosis and treatment are not sought. To learn more or schedule an airway evaluation, please contact our office at (423) 639-7575 to schedule a consultation.
Tusculum Dental Care is proud to serve Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin, Tennessee.