Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. It occurs when the soft tissues of the throat and mouth block the airway during sleep. The blockage can cause oxygen deprivation that can force the body to wake up and gasp for air. It can happen hundreds of time during the night causing a disruption in sleep. Your dental team in Mansfield, TX can help you to treat sleep apnea to give you a better quality of life. Depending on your type of treatment, there are still some things that can exacerbate obstructive sleep apnea or make it a more frequent condition.
Interestingly enough, OSA can increase the risks of someone becoming obese (as well as increasing the risks for stroke, heart disease, and other serious health conditions). Obesity becomes a higher risk because of the lack of restful sleep that sleep apnea can cause. The mood swings and hormonal imbalances can cause cravings for unhealthy foods. Weight gain and obesity can make sleep apnea worse because heavier people tend to have more soft tissue to block the airway.
Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol relaxes the muscles; drinking alcohol before going to sleep can increase the odds that the soft tissues will collapse and obstruct the airway. Smoking tobacco especially can irritate the tissues of the throat causing them to swell. Swelling in this area can lead to a greater obstruction. Alcohol and tobacco are both linked to higher blood pressure, heart disease, and other health conditions that become at an increased risk because of OSA.
Certain Sleep Positions
Sleeping on the back leads to a more readily relaxed tongue. Sleeping on the side or stomach can decrease the bouts of sleep apnea as it becomes less likely for the tissues to obstruct the airway in those positions.
We can help you treat sleep apnea
Treating sleep apnea can improve your overall health. To schedule a consultation with Mansfield Dental Associates in Mansfield, TX, call 817-473-6227. We proudly welcome patients from Mansfield and the surrounding areas, including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.