Bakersfield, CA – When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? You put your head down on the pillow, fell asleep quickly, and woke up come morning feeling like a brand new person.
If you’re one of the millions suffering from one or more sleep-related breathing disorders, your time in bed may not be so peaceful.
What Are Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders?
Plainly stated, a sleep-related breathing disorder is any disorder that disrupts your breathing while asleep. The most common disorder we know of is sleep apnea, where you stop breathing, sometimes dozens of times per night.
Sleep apnea is only one disorder, however. There is a whole list of others. See if you can identify one or more sleep-related breathing disorders that may be disrupting your nightly rest.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from this disorder, your airways become restricted at night, causing you to snore frequently and loudly. The sounds you are making are literally your body struggling against choking. Your brain and body become oxygen deprived, and you may wake up several times during the night. In some severe cases, patients can find themselves waking up hundreds of times per night.
While common, sleep apnea can be incredibly dangerous, as you may fall asleep at odd times during the day. Not good if you are a construction worker, pilot, cab driver, or heart surgeon.
Central Sleep Apnea
This type of sleep apnea causes your body to stop the breathing function altogether while asleep. It’s not that you cannot breathe, you’ve just stopped. The process is on-and-off, and the problem itself usually originates in the brain and heart.
Snoring and Groaning
We have all heard the expression “sawing logs,” and the phrase does a great job of describing the sound accurately. Snoring can be loud and harsh. The condition is caused when the flow of air causes the tissues in the back of your throat to vibrate. The sound usually occurs when you’re breathing in and can come from the nose, mouth, or a combination. Snoring can occur during any stage of sleep.
About half of all people snore at some point in their lives. You may be more susceptible to snoring if you’re a back sleeper or if you use alcohol or other depressants frequently.
If you tend to groan in your sleep, a condition known as “catathrenia”, you may have experienced the condition for some time. It’s long-lasting and occurs nightly, in most cases.
The sound is loud and can be startling to people who aren’t used to it. You may groan for a few moments, or you could groan for half a minute or more. The groans usually end in a sigh or grunt and can repeat in clusters that last from two minutes to a full hour.
Dangers of Breathing Disorders
Our bodies are designed to get 6-8 hours of quality sleep per night. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body can become sleep deprived. This can make you more susceptible to illness and accidents as you might be groggy throughout the day.
Can Sleep-Related Disorders Be Helped?
Dr. Frank is an AAOSH dentist, which means that he takes a whole-body approach to dentistry. Dr. Frank and all AAOSH members believe that negative oral health, which can cause inflammation in the body, can contribute to a host of other illnesses, such as diabetes and dementia.
If you suffer from a sleep-related breathing disorder, Dr. Frank will look at four elements known as the 4 B’s, which stands for Bite, Breathing, Bacteria, and Body.
Turns out, the state of your bite can contribute to sleep-related breathing disorders. If you suffer from a misaligned bite (known as malocclusion), your breathing can become affected, which can then lead to sleep apnea.
Dr. Frank can repair your bite with cosmetic dentistry services, like bonding, veneers or dental implants, but care must be taken that your bad oral habits don’t ruin those restorations. For instance, if your misaligned bite was caused by grinding (bruxism) or tooth wear caused by gastric reflux, Dr. Frank might instruct you to wear a night guard or eat a more alkaline diet.
With a stable bite and a clear airway, sleep-related breathing disorders can be greatly diminished or cured altogether.
Then, with premium dentistry services to rid your mouth of harmful bacteria, the other B (your body) will be primed for optimum health.
Don’t let your sleep-related breathing disorders go undiagnosed or untreated. For questions related to sleep apnea or other breathing disorders, call or visit the office of Dr. Frank DDS serving the areas in and around Bakersfield, CA.
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