SNORING & SLEEP APNEA
Sleep apnea can cause snoring and potentially dangerous breathing pauses lasting 10 seconds or more while you sleep. This condition can lead to severe changes in your sleeping habits, in addition to serious overall health problems. Clenching or grinding of the teeth at night may be a sign of sleep apnea. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is relatively common. In most people, it occurs subconsciously in sleep in order to tighten the muscles of the airway and keep the jaw from moving backward and the tongue from falling back into the throat and blocking the airway.
Unfortunately, teeth grinding may lead to tooth enamel damage, Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) problems, and headaches. Dr. Brittain will evaluate your current symptoms as part of her comprehensive initial exam and recommend effective treatment options to lessen the harmful effects of snoring, grinding, and sleep apnea. A healthier night’s sleep is one appointment away! Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children.
Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
• Being overweight
• Being over age 40
• Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
• Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
• Having a family history of sleep apnea
• Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
• Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including:
• High blood pressure
• Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks
• Worsening of ADHD