January 9, 2018

Is Sleep Apnea Harming Your Love Life

Imagine these scenarios. You’ve planned a romantic evening with your partner. Dinner at a nice restaurant or a candlelight dinner for two in the comfort of your home, perhaps. Things are going great…until you start getting tired. You’re too tired for intimacy, which can ruin a romantic evening.

Or maybe you and your partner have had a long, exhausting day and you’ve been looking forward to the comfort and contentedness of a good night’s sleep with your special someone. But then you ruin things by snoring in the middle of the night. Your significant other may even be having second thoughts about sharing a bed with you!

So, what can cause these two uncomfortable, unfortunate scenarios? It may surprise you that the common culprit could be sleep apnea. Don’t let sleep apnea ruin the romance in your relationship!

Instead, learn what you can about this sleep disorder and what you can do about it.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea causes the breathing to start and stop repeatedly during the night. This happens when your airway is blocked by your tongue or throat tissues while you sleep. Having sleep apnea puts you at risk for a number of other health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and strokes.

Some common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include snoring, drowsiness, and even decreased sex drive, all of which can be serious killjoys to your love life. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Headaches in the morning
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Impotence
  • Irritability
  • Dry mouth or a sore throat upon waking
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory impairment

 

Are you at risk for sleep apnea?

 

Available Treatments

Instead of allowing sleep apnea to be a downer on your love life, look into your treatment options. Since sleep apnea is a complex condition, Dr. James Powell may recommend one or more of these treatments for sleep apnea in Palmdale, California :

Myofunctional Therapy

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, it’s likely you have an orofacial myofunctional disorder. Your breathing depends on a proper relationship between the muscles of the face, mouth, and throat.

With myofunctional therapy, the muscles of the tongue, throat, and face can be trained to function properly. When functioning properly, the symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (such as snoring) and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea may be reduced.

Physiological Dental Therapy and Orthodontics

This is a multi-faceted approach that takes the physiology of a person into consideration—treating symptoms from a whole-body-perspective and not just a dental perspective. In order to provide optimal care, Dr. James Powell will work in conjunction with your other healthcare providers.

A custom plan is designed specifically for you. Thorough diagnostics with our advanced technology, combined with Dr. Powell’s 30 plus years of physiological dental experience, we will determine the optimum bite and jaw position for your physiology. Combined muscle-relaxation techniques and teeth alignment have been found to be effective treatments for sleep apnea.

 

 

Weight Loss

Losing weight has been established to improve the characteristics related to obstructive sleep apnea. When a person is overweight, they have extra tissue in their throat, which can cause the air flow to be blocked while they sleep.

What’s more is that obesity plays into a vicious cycle. You see, poor sleep is a risk factor for developing obesity, and obesity is a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea. Therefore, it’s imperative to make an active commitment to losing weight.

Though losing weight is easier said than done, it can have a big effect on minimizing symptoms of sleep apnea. In some cases, a significant amount of weight loss can even cure the condition.

Oral Appliance Therapy

We can provide you with a custom-made oral appliance to wear during sleep. This appliance can guide the jaw into a more forward position, thus allowing the airway to remain open during sleep.

Surgery

In severe cases of sleep apnea, our dentist may recommend that you seek surgical treatment. However, if you are willing to do your part and follow a custom multi-disciplinary approach, you actually may be able to avoid surgery altogether.

If you would like to learn more about treatments for your sleep apnea and to set up a reservation, we welcome you to contact Exceptional Dentistry at (661) 349-7725 today.