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The Dangers of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnea


Man sleeping with cpap machineThe quality of sleep you get is quite important for the overall well-being of your physical health. Uncontrolled or undiagnosed sleep apnea can increase the risk of problems with metabolic health and cardiovascular issues.

With sleep apnea, the upper muscles in the airway can relax while you sleep and cut off your airway, preventing you from breathing. Breathing can completely stop for 10 seconds or more at a time until reflexes kick in to allow you to breathe again.

At Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we often help patients who have sleep apnea with oral treatments in the shape of surgery.

Dangers of Sleep Apnea


Here are some concerns that can increase from sleep apnea.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)


Bruxism can occur among people who have sleep apnea. Unconsciously, you might grind your teeth or grip the jaw to counteract the relaxation of the soft palate and tongue that often causes airway obstruction. While this helps people with the symptoms of sleep apnea it can cause cavities, tooth decay, and wear down the tooth.

Dry Mouth


People who have sleep apnea tend to sleep with their mouth open, causing dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, plaque, and mouth sores. Our surgeons at Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can help you with such oral conditions with fillings, regular cleanings, and antibiotics. However, these issues will return until you actually treat the sleep apnea properly.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder


TMJ is the joint that connects the skull to the jaw on both sides of the face. Sleep apnea is known to result in TMJ disorders. You might experience teeth grinding, jaw aches, and uncomfortable migraines if you have TMJ.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea


Here are some of the risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea that you should be aware of:
•  Excess Weight:Fat deposits around the upper airway can affect breathing.
•  Narrowed Airway: Enlarged adenoids and tonsils can block the airway, or maybe you have just been born with a narrow throat.
•  Neck Circumference: Thicker necks might mean narrow airways.
•  Male: Men have two to three times more risk of sleep apnea than women, but the risk for women increases if they are overweight or after menopause.
•  Age: Older adults are more likely to get sleep apnea.
•  Family History: If you have family members who have sleep apnea, it can increase the risk for you as well.
•  Using Tranquilizers, Sedatives, and Alcohol: Such substances can cause muscle relaxation, worsening obstructive sleep apnea.
•  Smoking: It is known to increase the likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea by about three times as much, also causing an increase in fluid retention and inflammation in the upper airway.
•  Nasal Congestion: Difficulty breathing through the nose due to allergies or anatomical problems can increase the risk for sleep apnea.
•  Medical Conditions: High blood pressure, heart failure, Parkinson’s diseases, and type 2 diabetes can increase obstructive sleep apnea.

How To Treat Sleep Apnea


Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery offers Maxillomandibular Advancement surgery (MMA). It is known as an effective treatment for people who have obstructive sleep apnea. With MMA, the lower and upper jaw bones are repositioned. Our team will also suspend the pharyngeal airway muscles that are attached to the anterior portion, which increases the tension in the pharyngeal soft tissue.

This can open the airway and even expand it laterally, which can prevent future collapse too. It is often recommended for older patients.

Call Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at 657-384-2787 to schedule an appointment.

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Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 17822 Beach Boulevard, Suite 342, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 / 657-384-2787 / surfcityoms.com / 6/4/2023 / Tags: oral surgeon Huntington Beach CA /