Bellingham Dentist

Getting Serious with Sleep Apnea

Risk of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea affects 18 million Americans alone, like 1 n every 15, or about 6.6% of the population. It is described as stoppage of breathing while asleep, from 10 to 30 seconds per night to upwards of 400 seconds in severe cases. Each time, your brain is deprived of small amounts of vital oxygen. You might not be aware of the condition, but some advanced cases see waking up every 30 seconds per episode during the night. Sleep apnea is a chronic condition and a progressive one as well; it gets worse over time.

While sleeping, the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses and blocks your air passage. It’s called obstructive sleep apnea. The less common type is central sleep apnea where no air blockage occurs but your brain seems to fail to send signals to the muscles to breathe. It affects, predominantly, over 40 males who are overweight and with larger neck circumferences. Apart from a family history of sleep apnea, sufferers may also have large tonsils and tongue, and a small jaw bone. Other risk factors are presence of a reflux disease or some type of nasal obstruction.

While sleep apnea undermines a lot of day activities, such as work and school activities resulting to poor performance and work and vehicular accidents, the threat to overall health is more than alarming. Statistics show the relationship of sleep apnea to a host of health issues, as depression, hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes.

Bellingham Dentistry Treats Sleep Apnea

Bring anyone in your family who you believe is at risk for sleep apnea to the Tetrick Dental Clinic in Bellingham. Dr. Gary Tetrick, longtime dental practitioner of Bellingham with a Doctorate in Dental Surgery, is also a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is your expert professional in Bellingham for sleep apnea.