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. Sadly, if you suffer from sleep apnea, you could stop breathing hundreds of times in a single night.
Luckily, if you do have to deal with sleep apnea, your dentist is here to help. Sleep apnea—which is caused by having your airway obstructed—can be addressed with a custom dental appliance or through dental work. In both instances, your dentist can ensure that your airway remains clear while you sleep.
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.
If you are interested in learning more about sleep apnea—or about what you can do to prevent this condition, please feel free to contact us soon. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.