If you make choking or gasping sounds in your sleep, you may suffer from sleep apnea. Generally, this condition is caused because your airway becomes obstructed, either by sagging muscles in the throat or by your tongue. In fact, if you are dealing with this condition, you may experience headaches, have trouble focusing, or even develop high blood pressure.
Still, we have good news: Your dentist can help. Based on your needs, he or she may be able to adjust the position of your jaw or create a custom dental appliances designed to prevent your airway from being blocked. Furthermore, your dentist can recommend a specialist if necessary.
Sadly, sometimes there is nothing you can do to prevent sleep apnea. For example, Men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women are, especially men who have a family history with sleep apnea. Similarly, if you are born with a small airway, you may be more prone to sleep apnea.
Still, there are a few lifestyle decisions that can lead to sleep apnea—fortunately, things you can change. For example, nicotine can cause the muscles in your throat to relax, which can cause them to sag and block your airway. Alcohol and other sedatives can have a similar effect.
Do you have more questions about sleep apnea or about what you can do to treat it? If you do, we invite you to contact us quickly. We’ll gladly answer any questions you may have.