Does Age Affect the Prevalence of Sleep Apnea?

Any resident can suffer from sleep apnea – even children. However, research shows, the older you get, the more likely you are to suffer from this common sleep disorder. In fact, the website reports that the condition is most common in males over age 40.

What Exactly is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the patient involuntarily, temporarily stops breathing while sleeping. While that sounds very scary, the condition is actually quite common. In fact, it’s estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from this sleep condition. The most common, and recognizable symptom of sleep apnea is very loud, excessive snoring. The kind of snoring that you may joke is about to knock the house down. But sleep apnea is no joking matter. Other symptoms include:

  • Excessive daytime fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Loud breathing
  • Depression
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry throat
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Weight gain

As if these symptoms don’t seem undesirable enough, sleep apnea can lead to a number of other serious medical conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Complications with medications
  • Complications with surgeries
  • Liver problems

Clearly, if you suspect your partner’s extreme snoring is a case of sleep apnea, you shouldn’t just go to the guest room and close the door. Instead, you should encourage him or her to seek out a diagnosis so treatment can begin. Surprisingly enough, there’s actually a link between sleep apnea and dentistry. Because patients with this sleep condition often grind their teeth, our doctors may suspect you have the condition if you have worn down teeth, broken teeth, teeth that are breaking, or gum recession. If you think you may have sleep apnea, we may have some doctors that can diagnose and perhaps perform a sleep study.

Everyone Deserves a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is an important part of our daily routine. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, including sleep apnea sufferers, their partners, and other people living in their homes. If you’re coming to visit us for an oral surgery need and you’ve been told you snore excessively, don’t be embarrassed to tell us. We’re happy to look for the dental signs of sleep apnea to give you our opinion on whether or not you should seek additional medical advice.

You Can Develop Sleep Apnea at any Time

Even if you’ve never been a snorer before, you can become one at any time. That’s because sleep apnea does become more common the older we get. If you’re over 40, and especially in your 60s, it’s possible that you’ll develop this condition even if you’ve always slept like a baby before.

We’re Happy to Help

While sleep apnea isn’t something we treat or cure in our office, we care about your holistic self. That means, if we notice the telltale dental signs of this condition, we’ll let you know and recommend you seek further medical treatment for a proper diagnosis. To learn more, give us a call today at (817) 731-2789.

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