Sleep apnea affects tens of millions of Americans, and it can contribute to life-threatening health problems. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which the tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep and blocks the airway. This can cause periods in which your breathing is interrupted, sometimes for more than 10 seconds, dozens of times over the course of a night. Chronic snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea, but most people with sleep apnea suffer from multiple symptoms that may also include:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Headaches
  • Waking up choking or gasping for air
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat

If not treated, OSA can increase your risk for potentially fatal medical problems including:

  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

Because sleep apnea causes you to lose out on the important stages of deep sleep and lessens the amount of rest your body and mind get each night, it also decreases your mental capacities in your waking hours. Sleep apnea can result in slower reaction time and poor decision-making abilities, which in turn can adversely impact your ability to perform otherwise routine daily activities such as driving a car. If you live in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria or Glendale, Arizona, areas and would like to learn about testing and treatment for sleep apnea, please contact Desert Smiles Cosmetic & Sedation Dentistry to schedule your sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Donald Wilcox.

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