How Weight is Connected to Sleep Apnea  

Sleep apnea is a kind of sleep disorder that leads to disrupted breathing. If you are experiencing sleep apnea, you might be able to get help for your condition from your dentist in Onalaska, WI. Your dentist has several tools available to help minimize the occurrence of sleep apnea.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

Many people are unaware that they have sleep apnea. In fact, your dentist may be the first one to draw the possibility to your attention. This is because one of the telltale signs of sleep apnea is teeth grinding. Teeth grinding may occur at night, while you’re sleeping. The jaw tenses and you might grind your teeth while unconscious. Another symptom of teeth grinding is unusual redness at the back of the throat, which is caused by apnea-induced snoring.

Overweight and Sleep Apnea

While your dentist may be able to reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea, a long-term solution may be related to weight. There have been numerous studies that indicate that those who are overweight are more likely to experience sleep apnea. 

When a person is overweight, there may be more fat accumulation in the neck and the waist. The excess fat can hinder airflow, particularly when in a prone position, such as lying down at night to go to sleep. A study done by the Mayo Clinic shows that a larger neck circumference from weight gain actually narrows the airway.

Another correlation between excess weight and sleep apnea has to do with loss of restful sleep. Sleep apnea generally reduces the number of hours of restful sleep. In turn, lack of sleep has been linked to overeating during the day, leading to weight gain. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, speak to your dentist in Onalaska, WI, in addition to your physician. Contact us today to book your appointment.