Sleep Apnea and Your Health


Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder with approximately one in five adults suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea. However, it is estimated, 80 to 90 percent of those with the disorder are undiagnosed. With the occurrence of the disorder so high, many are often concerned about the risk for heart attack. Cardiovascular disease and sleep apnea go hand-in-hand. There is a direct link between sleep apnea causing cardiovascular complications, such as heart attack and high blood pressure. As your dentist in the Wylie, Sachse, Murphy area, we offer treatment for sleep apnea. We have the facts you need to know to protect your heart from the condition.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

There are a couple of different forms of sleep apnea, but the most common form is obstructive sleep apnea. This form of the condition results from an obstruction in the airway. The obstruction in the airway causes breathing to stop as the airways narrow. These pauses in breathing occur numerous times per night with each event lasting a minute or longer. The lack of proper oxygen flow eventually takes a toll on the body. Of the highest concern is the development of cardiovascular disease.

Although there has been a lot of evidence over the years supporting the link between sleep apnea and heart disease, it was not until 2013 when Apoor Gami officially announced the connection. Appor Gami is a cardio electrophysiologist at the Midwest Heart Specialists-Advocate Medical Group, who completed an investigation into the relation of the two conditions.

According to the results of the investigation, it was found that the pauses in breathing cause oxygen levels to decrease. As a result, it causes the heart’s rhythm to become irregular. This is known to lead to sudden cardiac death.

With the number of diagnosed and undiagnosed cases of sleep apnea so high, this is especially concerning due to the fact more than 450,000 deaths occur each year from sudden cardiac death. These alarming figures make it increasingly important to seek a consultation for sleep apnea if you experience any symptoms of the sleep disorder.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The most notable symptom of the condition is loud chronic snoring. However, symptoms can take many forms. In addition to the pauses in breathing and snoring, patients are likely to wake frequently at night, often with a dry mouth, sore throat, or gasping for air. If you have any of these symptoms or are at risk for sleep apnea due to lifestyle habits, age, or obesity, you need to undergo a sleep study immediately.

If a sleep study determines you have the disorder, you will require treatment. At Maxwell Creek Family Dentistry, Dr. Lonnie Guardiola provides treatment for sleep apnea in Wylie, TX. Dr. Guardiola will evaluate the results of your study to provide the appropriate treatment. Treatment may involve the use of an oral appliance or a CPAP machine to help keep the airways open.

By treating the sleep disorder, you will not only sleep more soundly, but also decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. If you need treatment for sleep apnea, please contact us for an appointment.