8 Sneaky ways to tell if you have Sleep Apnea

Categories: Sleep Disorders

sleep apnea signsSCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA

Daily complaints from your significant other about your snoring or gasping for air while sleeping could cause concern. Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is a medical condition that causes snoring and breathing pauses throughout the night. As you sleep, your jaw and throat naturally relax, resulting in soft tissue collapsing and potentially blocking your airway, causing vibrations that result in snoring. However, not everyone with sleep apnea snores. Several other warning signs could indicate that you have a sleep breathing disorder. Fortunately, our Scotts Valley sleep apnea dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry share on the blog today eight sneaky ways to tell if you have sleep apnea so that you can get proper treatment and a better night’s rest.

  1. Snoring

The number one symptom related to sleep apnea is snoring and can be a crucial indicator that you experience a sleep breathing disorder. However, people who snore on occasion may suffer from seasonal allergies or a common cold, which may not be related to sleep apnea. Your snore sound changes when sleep apnea is present. Sleep apnea snoring is louder and more frequent than snores suffering from allergies or the common cold.

  1. Dry Mouth

Waking with a dry mouth or a sore throat could indicate OSA. Although obstructive sleep apnea can be challenging to diagnose, a dry mouth or sore throat is a good indication you are breathing through your mouth while sleeping. Mouth breathing results in shallower breaths and lower oxygenation in the blood and could disrupt the brain’s sleep cycle.

  1. Headaches

Occasional headaches are natural and should not cause concern. However, regular headaches that occur upon waking from sleep could result from low oxygen in the blood. If you have untreated sleep apnea, the brain wakes up dozens or even hundreds of times a night while you’re sleeping to signal the body to breathe, resulting in a poor sleep experience. Additionally, lower oxygen levels may cause widened blood vessels and vascular headaches. Patients who have been suffering from headaches should visit their primary care provider to identify and treat their condition. However, avoid masking your headaches with medication. Get to the root of the problem by scheduling a sleep apnea screening near you in Scotts Valley.

  1. Daytime Drowsiness

When your body doesn’t get enough oxygen or rest at night while sleeping, your daily activities may become more challenging. Sleep apnea causes sleep deprivation, which increases difficulty with focus and memory loss. Therefore, if you visit the coffee pot multiple times a day to energize yourself, you may benefit from sleep apnea treatment at our Scotts Valley dental office. Since marked drowsiness increases your risk of accidents, it’s critical to address the problem immediately.

  1. Jaw Clenching

A sign of stress or anxiety is jaw clenching, also known as bruxism. Patients who clench their jaw and grind their teeth could significantly damage their teeth by weakening their enamel, potentially cracking or breaking a tooth. Research links sleep apnea and bruxism since both conditions consider everyday health and lifestyle choices such as smoking, being overweight, and having a misaligned bite.

  1. Anxiety

Anxiety and stress affect everyone differently and come in multiple forms. Unfortunately, inadequate sleep or a loss of sleep may contribute to cognitive issues that result in stress. When your sleep deprivation is due to anxiety or stress, you can feel sleepy yet consume caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea to energize yourself throughout the day. However, when you drink too much caffeine, energy drinks, or other sugary beverages, it may lead to increased anxiety levels.

  1. Weight Gain

People who suffer from sleep apnea may notice that they pack on extra pounds or find it challenging to lose weight. When you consume a healthy diet and establish a regular exercise regimen, you should see positive results in your weight loss. However, our OSA dentists in Santa Cruz explain that if your body does not get enough rest and oxygen, it may affect metabolism rates and decrease your body’s ability to burn fat.

  1. Chronic Health Issues

Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea may cause additional health conditions. Some common health risks for patients with sleep apnea are gum disease, high blood pressure, acid reflux, heart disease, tooth loss, diabetes, and making you prone to specific cancer types. Research also indicates a higher risk of Alzheimer’s when sleep apnea remains untreated. Therefore, if you already have one of these health issues, it would be ideal to receive a sleep apnea screening to ensure your body is resting well and receives enough oxygen while you sleep.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California

Although you may not directly see the signs of obstructive sleep apnea, there are sneaky ways to uncover your condition. Sleep apnea is a severe condition that could complicate your health and well-being if it’s left untreated. If you identified with any of the eight ways above or think you may have sleep apnea, please contact our dentists in Los Gatos that treat sleep apnea at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry. Call us today at (831) 438-4411 or book an appointment online.