Serving Northern Virginia including Oakton, Fairfax, Reston, Alexandria, Arlington, and Washington, D.C.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition affecting millions of Americans. It is a sleep disorder resulting in repeated, brief interruptions in breathing throughout the night. Unfortunately, many cases of sleep apnea are never properly diagnosed and treated. Due to the serious health risks associated with sleep apnea, it is important to be evaluated by an experienced sleep dentist if you believe you suffer from the condition.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of the condition, is caused by a blockage in your airway that occurs when the muscles in your throat relax and the soft tissue collapses on your airway. This deprives your heart and brain of oxygen, increasing your blood pressure and heart rate. Your brain must then rouse you from sleep to open your airway and restore proper breathing. This cycle can occur hundreds of times a night, and in many cases you won’t even know it is happening.
Central sleep apnea, a much less common form of the condition, is caused by a malfunction in the central nervous system that fails to relay breathing signals to the appropriate muscles. This is normally the result of health conditions such as stroke or heart disease.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The most common symptom associated with sleep apnea is loud snoring. If your bed partner regularly complains about your snoring, you may want to visit our Northern Virginia sleep dentistry office for a sleep apnea evaluation.
Other sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Daytime sleepiness
- Dry mouth or sore throat
- Waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Morning headaches
- Concentration problems
- Short term memory issues
- Weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
Health Risks Associated with Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of a variety of serious health issues, including:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Gastric reflux
- Cardiac arrhythmia
Due to the dangers these conditions pose to your long term health, it is crucial that you diagnose and treat sleep apnea as soon as you notice symptoms.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Northern Virginia sleep dentist Dr. Michael Chung offers a variety of services for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. He will perform a thorough sleep evaluation to determine the precise cause of your condition. Based on this diagnosis, Dr. Chung will formulate a treatment plan that will help you restore proper breathing through the night.
Dr. Chung commonly recommends the following sleep apnea treatments:
- Oral appliance therapy
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
Please contact Softouch Dental Care today to schedule your initial sleep apnea evaluation. Dr. Michael Chung serves patients in Oakton, Fairfax, Reston, Alexandria, Arlington, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C.