You have probably heard that a proper diet and exercise are crucial for a healthy body, but as it turns out, quality sleep is also critical for your overall well being. More specifically, if you have undiagnosed sleep apnea, it puts you at risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other diseases. The scariest part is that you might not even know you have this sleep-disordered breathing problem.
Battling with daytime fatigue? Waking up to morning headaches? The culprit could be sleep apnea. Before things get out of hand, please book an appointment with qualified dentist Greg G. Pitts DDS of American Fork, Utah for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The most common form of sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway muscles collapse, blocking your airways while you sleep. As a result, your breathing pauses for about 10 seconds, until your reflexes kick in to resume breathing.
There are two forms of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the breathing muscles collapse, obstructing the air from flowing in and out of the mouth and nose. The other type is central sleep apnea (CSA), which happens when the brain fails to communicate with the breathing muscles, resulting in pauses in breathing during sleep. While CSA is less common, it can wreak havoc on your overall health.
Sleep apnea is likely to be noticed by a bed partner even before the sleeper is aware that something is wrong. Since one of the hallmark symptoms of sleep apnea is chronic snoring, your sleeping partner is likely to notice your loud snoring or pauses in breathing even before you do.
With this in mind, snoring itself — even though it can be annoying — is not the same as sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when air flows past the soft tissues of your throat, causing a vibration. You can have raucous snoring and not have sleep apnea. Similarly, you can have sleep apnea without loud snoring.
Besides snoring, the other typical symptoms of sleep apnea include:
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, please book an appointment with Dr. Greg G. Pitts because untreated sleep apnea can have serious long-term consequences for your health.
While CPAP is the first-line treatment for sleep apnea, most patients find this treatment irritating, uncomfortable, and cumbersome to travel with. Luckily, for those patients that want an alternative to CPAP, Dr. Pitts offers a custom-made dental orthotic to manage and reduce your sleep apnea symptoms.
The dental orthotic puts your jaw in an optimal position and prevents your tongue and other soft tissues from blocking your airway. Patients using our dental orthotic report improved sleep, enhanced wakefulness during the day, and a better overall quality of life.
For Dr. Greg Pitts, dentistry is not just a profession; he is passionate about providing the best possible care for patients. He earned his BS from Brigham Young University (BYU), Utah and his DDS from Creighton Dental School, Nebraska. He has been practicing dentistry in American Fork since 1999.
A member of the ADA, AGD, UDA, and American Academy of Sports Dentistry, Dr. Pitts is actively involved with Utah Valley athletics and works to raise awareness of the need for tooth protection in organized sports and recreational activities. He is the official dentist for the BYU and UVU athletic departments.