While it's commonly believed that frequent snoring indicates sleep apnea, it's important to note that while snoring is a prevalent symptom, it doesn't apply to everyone with sleep apnea. Likewise, not all individuals who snore necessarily have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea leads to disruptions in your breathing patterns during sleep, such as periodic pauses in breathing, a significant reduction in breath depth, or even a combination of both. It's possible that you may not be aware of these occurrences until a partner or roommate brings it to your attention.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common condition in which your breathing suddenly stops or pauses and begins again many times during sleep. It can prevent your body from getting enough oxygen while you are sleeping, which is dangerous and poses many health risks.
It's a good idea to talk to your healthcare or dental provider about sleep apnea if someone tells you that you snore or frequently and suddenly gasp while you are asleep or if you experience other symptoms of poor-quality sleep, such as excessive daytime drowsiness or not feeling well-rested in the morning.
Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea can have various symptoms that are different from one person to the next. These may include the following:
- Loud snoring that may fluctuate in intensity throughout the night, potentially reaching volumes sufficient to wake others in the room or household up from sleep.
- Waking up with a notably parched or sore throat, often a result of breathing through the mouth due to apnea episodes.
- Frequent dry mouth during the night or upon waking in the morning is also attributed to mouth breathing during sleep.
- Intermittent episodes of waking up with a sensation of choking or gasping for air.
- Sleep that is characterized by restlessness, frequent awakenings, or insomnia.
- Daytime sleepiness or a persistent lack of energy, even after seemingly getting a full night's rest, as breathing difficulties may rouse you multiple times during the night, of which you may not be consciously aware.
- Drowsiness while driving or taking part in other activities which can pose a potential safety risk.
- Experiencing morning headaches, a phenomenon not entirely understood but possibly linked to compromised sleep quality or oxygen deprivation stemming from breathing issues.
- Cognitive symptoms like forgetfulness, mood fluctuations, and diminished interest in sexual activity which can arise from sleep deprivation.
- Experiencing dizziness upon awakening, which may be correlated with reduced oxygen levels.
- Occasional occurrence of nightmares, with some research suggesting a connection between apnea and vivid dreams, though further studies are needed for conclusive evidence.
Learn More About Sleep Apnea From the Dental Professionals at The Smile Architects
If you are looking for a sleep apnea dentist in Huntersville, NC, look no further than The Smile Architects. Since 1982, we have been providing quality dental care to patients in the Huntersville area.
Our dentists are knowledgeable and experienced sleep apnea treatment providers, helping patients with oral appliances that treat sleep apnea. To learn more about this type of sleep apnea treatment and how you can benefit from it, contact us today to schedule an appointment.