Have you found out recently that you have sleep apnea? If it’s new for you, it’s natural to have a lot of questions—and it’s smart to look for answers as soon as possible.
Get started with this FAQ page. We’re also happy to talk with you at our local dentist office in San Jose. When you need dental care, we’re always happy to answer your questions.
If you need a conversation, call Advanced Dentistry by Design today. Plus, you can get a FREE snoring and sleep apnea consultation just by asking!
What are the main symptoms of sleep apnea?
There are 3 most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, which are:
- Loud snoring.
- Gasping for air during sleep.
- Episodes when you stop breathing while sleeping.
These generally have to be reported by a partner. But you can also watch for these other sleep apnea symptoms:
- Unexplained irritability.
- Difficulty concentrating during the day.
- Falling asleep on the job or while driving.
- Sleep apnea headaches or dry mouth first thing in the morning.
- Trouble staying asleep during the night.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to see a sleep doctor or family dentist.
What happens if sleep apnea is left untreated?
Untreated sleep apnea leads to a variety of issues, depending on the patient, including:
- Heart issues: The strain placed on your heart could lead to heart attacks.
- High blood pressure: Sleep apnea causes sudden drops in blood oxygen, which strains the cardiovascular system, increasing blood pressure.
- Extreme tiredness during the day: Sleep apnea deprives you of restful sleep, which can lead to dangerous or fatal daytime accidents, moodiness, poor concentration and performance at work or school, and other issues.
- Type 2 diabetes: It can increase the risk of insulin resistance.
- Complications during surgery: Breathing problems can interfere with sedation after surgery.
- Liver issues: People suffering from sleep apnea sometimes have scars on their livers and unusual results during liver tests.
- Sleep problems for partners: Sleep apnea deprives the patient of rest but also may cause performance, safety, mood, and health issues for others in the same household.
- Metabolic syndrome: This is a complex condition that includes cholesterol level issues, high blood pressure, a higher risk of heart disease, and other problems.
How can I test myself for sleep apnea?
A sleep doctor can give you a monitoring device for a sleep apnea test at home. It will record your breathing patterns while you sleep.
You’ll then take the device back to the doctor, and a sleep specialist will examine the results.
This type of device will often help your doctor get preliminary results. However, your doctor might recommend a sleep study in a lab to confirm and extend the results.
A home-use device might fall off during the night, giving inaccurate results. Also, you might have a different sleep issue that is causing your symptoms, even if you don’t have sleep apnea.
Can Apple Watch detect sleep apnea?
Your Apple Watch, Fitbit, or similar device will record your heart rate activity during the night. It might even detect your blood oxygen levels.
Results like this may alert you that a possible medical issue is present, but it is not a true diagnosis of sleep apnea. Several other factors in a sleep study are needed.
How do I get rid of sleep apnea?
Your sleep apnea dentist may recommend one of several different possible sleep apnea cures, including:
- A sleep apnea mouth guard: This custom device moves the jaw into a position that opens your airway. Your dental specialist can order it and fit it.
- NightLase: This laser dentistry service opens your airway with a painless, quick laser intervention.
- Sleep apnea surgery: A surgeon could alter your oral tissues to allow air to pass through more easily.
- Sleep apnea CPAP: This device pressurizes the air you breathe during the night, keeping it flowing.
What are the 3 types of sleep apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea: A blockage stops the flow of air.
- Central sleep apnea: A nerve issue interrupts the brain signal telling you to breathe.
- Complex sleep apnea: A combination of the other two types.
Does sleep apnea go away?
Sleep apnea is an ongoing issue that usually won’t cure itself. It’s often caused by a physical blockage in the mouth or throat, and you’ll need a mouth guard, CPAP, surgery, or other treatment to resolve it.
Can sleep apnea be cured naturally?
There are several natural remedies you can try:
- Weight loss: May open the throat airway and nasal passages.
- Exercise: Improves your respiratory system and oxygen levels.
- Sleep positions: For adults, sleeping on your side may help, although a doctor could help you find your ideal sleep position.
- Humidifiers: Air moisture may decrease congestion and improve your breathing.
- Reducing smoking and alcohol use: These cause inflammation and breathing issues.
- Oral appliances: Open the airway through a new jaw position.
Can sleep apnea be caused by stress?
No, but stress can worsen sleep apnea that is already present because of other factors.
Is coffee good for sleep apnea?
It may be a temporary remedy for daytime drowsiness, but you’ll need other interventions to cure the underlying sleep apnea issue. It may be as simple as getting a dental mouth guard!
Schedule a FREE Sleep Apnea Consultation With Advanced Dentistry by Design
At our family dental practice, we’ll discuss your symptoms, answer any questions, and connect you with a sleep specialist for a diagnosis.
We offer effective sleep apnea solutions, including custom mouth guards and NightLase therapy.
Start with a FREE consultation. Call Advanced Dentistry by Design today for a comfortable, no-risk appointment.