July 16, 2019
Sleep apnea in Weyauwega is no laughing matter. This common sleep disorder is the reality for millions of Americans. Each day, they wake up feeling as they got no sleep the night before, forcing their bodies and their brains to move throughout the day much like a zombie. Not only are they sleep deprived, but their bodies and immune systems are weakening as a result. If you are one of the millions needing more sleep, find out exactly how detrimental this common condition is to your body and what you can do to get the rest you need.
What is Sleep Apnea?
If you stop breathing for 10 seconds or more throughout the night, you are experiencing what is known as apnea. When the soft tissues of your mouth and throat relax, they collapse into your airway, effectively blocking it and creating what is called “obstructive sleep apnea.” As your breathing stops, your brain must be triggered in order to alert your body to its need to breathe. This is what causes people to wake up gasping or choking for air.
Each time this happens, your blood pressure rises and falls just like a rollercoaster, only instead of it being full of laughs and fun, this ride can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
How Does it Weaken the Immune System?
When your body is unable to get the rest it needs, you will notice that you feel exhausted, depleted, and very much like a walking, talking zombie. An essential part of the immune system is cytokines, which are proteins that target inflammation and infection. When you’re asleep, your body releases these proteins, creating just enough infection-fighting antibodies. This is why when you’re sick, your doctor will encourage you to get enough rest.
Unfortunately, when you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body cannot produce adequate amounts of cytokines and antibodies, meaning you are more prone to infection because of your weakened immune system. Too many people are unaware that they have sleep apnea, so when they become sick, they don’t understand why they’re not getting better, quicker. It’s important that if you believe you might have sleep apnea that you speak to your dentist about the possibility of having a sleep study conducted.
How Can it be Treated?
The CPAP machine is the most commonly known method of sleep apnea treatment; however, as more and more people express their disappointment in it, dentists are coming up with new ways to treat sleep apnea. CPAP machines, although effective, are bulky and uncomfortable to wear for many patients.
Instead of hauling around heavy equipment, you’ll find many dentists offering an oral appliance in Weyauwega. These small, compact devices are meant to be worn in your mouth at night while you sleep. Customized to your individual dental needs, they will shift your jaw forward slightly and keep your soft tissues and throat from relaxing, ultimately, blocking your airway.
With oral appliance therapy, you can begin getting the rest you need because they are simple, easy to use, and comfortable. Don’t let another day go by without talking to your dentist about your sleep apnea.
About the Author
Caring about the overall well-being of his patients, Dr. William Twohig, DDS, is dedicated to helping you overcome your sleep apnea problem. Dedicating the last 20 of his 40 years of practicing dentistry and searching for alternative methods to offer his patients, he has worked with specialists to find a way to help people get the sleep they need without the use of a CPAP machine. To find out how he can help you, visit our website or call (920) 867-3101.
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