Sleep Apnea Tulsa, OK

Many patients wake up exhausted every morning, even after a full night’s sleep. Insomnia and even snoring can be signs of sleep apnea. Not only does sleep apnea rob you of much-needed rest, but it can also rob your health in other ways. Receiving treatment for sleep apnea in our Tulsa, OK, dental office can restore your health and comfort when sleeping. In addition to providing sleep apnea treatment, we offer various restorative dentistry services.

When you sleep, your tongue and the soft tissues in the back of your mouth relax. When these tissues partially block your breathing passage, they vibrate and lead to snoring. Sometimes, they can completely block your breathing passage, causing obstructive sleep apnea. When this occurs, you don’t get adequate oxygen.

Eventually, your brain detects the deficiency and will startle you to take a breath, interrupting your sleep. This cycle of oxygen depletion and arousal can happen repeatedly in your sleep without you even being aware.

Sleep Apnea in Tulsa, OK

Sleep Apnea Symptoms 

Unfortunately, it is difficult for many patients to recognize that they have sleep apnea. You may not realize you experience interrupted breathing during sleep. It is more likely your partner will notice, so you could ask him or her to be aware of the symptoms.

The most common signs of sleep apnea include: 

  • Snoring
  • High blood pressure
  • Gasping or stopping breathing in the night
  • Daytime tiredness with a full night’s sleep
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Mouth breathing
  • A sore throat without an illness
  • Dry mouth
  • Teeth grinding

Some patients are more at risk of developing sleep apnea than others. Patients who are at a high risk of experiencing sleep apnea are often:

  • Male 
  • Over 40
  • Overweight
  • Heavy smokers
  • Alcohol users

Neck circumference and a narrow airway make a big difference in sleep apnea. If you have a narrow airway, you receive less oxygen during sleep. Generally, patients are also at an increased risk of sleep apnea if they have a large neck size. Sleep apnea can affect men with a neck circumference of at least 17 inches. Women with a neck circumference of at least 16 inches may also be prone to sleep apnea.

Drinking and smoking contribute to inflammation and relaxation in the airway. Smoking cigarettes and vaping increases inflammation, which can narrow the airway. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea as alcohol relaxes the muscles in the upper airway.

Your sleeping position can also worsen sleep apnea symptoms. Sleeping on your back increases the chance of soft tissues blocking your airway during sleep. Keeping the airway open is easier if you sleep on your side or stomach.

Differences Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea

If you frequently snore, you may wonder if that also means you have sleep apnea. Sometimes, you can experience snoring if you have sleep apnea. However, you do not automatically have sleep apnea if you snore. 

Additionally, snoring and sleep apnea are not the same. Snoring occurs when air passes through the throat, creating vibrations and noise. Sleep apnea occurs when you have a blocked airway. 

Can Sleep Apnea Increase Heart Problems?

If you already have heart problems, developing sleep apnea can increase the frequency of symptoms. Continual pauses in breathing put stress on your heart. Whenever you stop breathing during sleep apnea, your oxygen level drops. Your body reacts by increasing stress hormones. Increased stress levels also increase blood pressure and LDL.

Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the chance of stroke and heart attack. Sleep apnea is also linked to problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Please receive professional care if you have heart problems and notice signs of sleep apnea. Addressing sleep apnea can help improve your heart health and overall health.

Sleep Apnea and Everyday Problems

A lack of a good night’s sleep carries over into work, school, and other daytime activities. If you have daytime sleepiness due to sleep apnea, you can also experience:

  • Reduced reaction time
  • Mood swings
  • Concentration problems
  • Depression
  • Irritability 

At best, you can wake up with a poor attitude. But in some cases, poor sleep can lead to work accidents and impaired driving. A lack of sleep can also increase the risk of chronic health problems. Obesity, depression, and heart problems are all linked to sleep deprivation.

How to Treat Sleep Apnea 

Before you receive treatment, you can receive an at-home sleep test or visit a lab for a sleep study. You’re typically recommended a CPAP machine once you are diagnosed with sleep apnea. The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (or CPAP) machine is the traditional sleep apnea treatment. It delivers oxygen through a mask to keep the airway open.

Many patients find this uncomfortable and dislike wearing a mask on their faces throughout the night. CPAP machines are also noisy, so patients find it difficult to get to sleep in the first place.

Today, there are alternatives to CPAP machines. Our dental office provides oral appliances for sleep apnea in Tulsa, OK. An oral appliance adjusts the position of your mouth. It opens up the posterior muscles that block your airway while you sleep.

Some oral appliances are bulky and can open your bite too much, leading to other problems like jaw pain. Dr. Jerome Cha strongly believes in physiological care. The device should work with how your body functions, not against it. Our sleep apnea appliances are small, portable, and comfortable. It also adjusts in smaller increments to eliminate titration problems.

Treating sleep apnea can improve your sleep and help increase your energy levels during the day. It can also prevent additional health problems or chronic health flare-ups.

Prevent Disruptive Snoring

Get better and more restful sleep. If you suspect you’re suffering from sleep apnea, call Hope Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry today at 918-347-1114. Feel free to request a dental appointment with Dr. Cha on our website.

We’re here to provide effective sleep apnea treatment in Tulsa, OK. Contact our office if you have any questions about sleep apnea or oral appliance therapy. We want to help you understand your treatment options.