Sleep Apnea Causes
Millions of people in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, putting them at higher risk for cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes and fatigue-related accidents. Symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, gasping for breath while sleeping, headaches and sleepiness, which can alert you to this condition. Treating sleep apnea is possible, especially if you address the causes of this condition. Bob Perkins, DDS, offers effective options to treat some of the common causes of sleep apnea. Addressing this issue will help improve the quality of life and health of patients in Manhattan and the New York City area.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway is blocked during sleep. This can stop breathing for 10 seconds or more at a time, impacting your sleep and health. To treat sleep apnea, it is important to understand what is causing this obstruction. For some, being overweight is the main catalyst. Obesity can create excess tissue in the back of the throat that can block the airway. However, weight is not always the cause or the only factor, for those with sleep apnea. It can be related to your orthodontic and jaw health.
TMJ, Orthodontics and Sleep Apnea Connection
Many people with sleep apnea have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) or orthodontic issues that are causing a breathing obstruction when they sleep. The teeth and jaw position both affect the airway when you sleep. If your jaw joint is damaged, as is often the case with TMJ, it may not rest in the correct position. This can set the lower jaw further back, moving the tongue toward the back of the mouth. This can push on the tissues in the mouth while you sleep, causing a partial obstruction of the airway. Orthodontic issues with alignment can have the same impact on your airway opening, leading to sleep apnea.