What Causes Sleep Apnea and Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

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No matter who you are, where you live or what you do, sleep is a necessary part of your life. All people need to give their physical bodies a break from the demands of the day. This is a time when the brain and organs are consolidating and processing the events of the day.

When sleep is inadequate, it can impact every area of our lives. Although the recommended amount of sleep is somewhere between seven and nine hours per night, many of us may struggle to make that a reality. Without deep sleep, which takes approximately 90 minutes to achieve, the body cannot perform nearly as well the following day.

Benefits of Sleep

The benefits of proper sleep are more diverse than you might think. Restorative sleep regulates hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which can be overproduced when you haven’t slept. That means that sleep helps us control our stress and meet the demands of the day. Sleep also helps to regulate appetite and metabolism to prevent taking on weight.

Sleep improves your immune system – without it the immune system struggles to keep up and you could find yourself getting seasonal illnesses more easily and for longer. With a lack of sleep comes an irritable and depressive mood and you could see yourself getting into arguments and other negative interpersonal interactions. Processing time slows down and you may find it more difficult to complete daily tasks or make important decisions. Of more importance is that a lack of sleep causes far more accidents with heavy equipment, machinery, and automobiles.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Although your dentist needs to perform a sleep test to properly diagnose sleep apnea, it can be helpful to keep some of the symptoms in mind.

If you live with a partner and you snore, he or she will likely ask you to seek snoring treatment in Edmonton because your heavy snoring is keeping them awake every night.  Although snoring is one piece of the puzzle, other indications of sleep apnea are choking and gasping and long duration between breaths.

You may find yourself feeling chronically exhausted even upon waking and fall asleep throughout the day in inappropriate settings. You may feel dreamy throughout the day as though you never fully wake up and find it hard to concentrate or remember things. Headaches are often chronic for those who suffer with sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Edmonton

Viva Dental Wellness is a dentist in Windermere, we understand the profound benefits of a healthy sleep and wake cycle – that’s why our dental clinic in Edmonton created the Snore Center. Among the things that can cause nighttime waking are restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and something called sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is the condition of broken sleep due to frequent wakings. These wakings are caused when the condition stops your breathing. There are two forms of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Your dentist in South Edmonton will be able to determine this using a sleep study. This involves a head band worn while you sleep to record your sleep patterns.

Obstructive sleep apnea indicates that when you are laying down, your throat tissues are closing your airway. This leads to snoring and waking up gasping for air. Central sleep apnea is a disconnection between the brain and body. The body is sending cues to breathe, but the brain is not receiving the impulse. This leads to a cessation of breathing that can be minutes long and will end in a desperate gasp of air.

The continuous stirring during sleep often does not fully wake the patient up, but prevents the deep rest required for restoration.

Can I See a Dentist Near Me?

If you are unable to commute to our Windermere dentist, we recommend that you find the next best dental clinic and the next best dentist that treats sleep apnea in your area. However, if you are being treated by our dentist in South Edmonton, you may not require frequent appointments which may influence your decision about whether or not to commit to the commute.

Other Considerations

Although headaches and muscle tension in the shoulders and neck point to sleep apnea as their cause, there is more to consider. As a dental clinic in Windermere, we see many patients with this tension complaint and sometimes it is not apnea causing the symptoms but bruxism. Bruxism describes clenching and grinding the teeth against each other in our sleep. This may be worse when patients are under unusual stress. Patients may sometimes complain of ear pain prior to being diagnosed with bruxism.

Any family dentist in Edmonton can assess the condition of your teeth and jaw muscles to determine whether bruxism is present. This typically involves a visual inspection of the teeth and gums followed by a check for overdeveloped jaw muscles.

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