Dental Care So You & Your Spouse Sleep Better
- Posted on: Jul 23 2016
Bill is already asleep by the time Nancy comes to bed.
She kisses him sweetly on the head before getting under the covers. Bill doesn’t know this happens, but Nancy is grateful that he got help. She knows that she will be able to fall asleep soon, too.
That wouldn’t have been possible six months ago.
That was before Bill was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, before he went to Clear Lake Dental Care in Webster, TX, and before he got treatment for his condition.
That was back when Bill’s snoring made it nearly impossible for Nancy to get a good night’s rest.
Six Months Earlier …
It didn’t matter when Nancy went to bed back then. Whenever Bill fell asleep, that’s when her nightmare of a night would begin.
Bill’s snoring never seemed to stop — except for those moments when he stopped breathing — and that kept Nancy awake for a completely different reason.
In the morning, she was irritable because she hadn’t slept well. The funny this is Bill was grouchy, too, even though he seemed to sleep all night. At least, she thought he did.
Bill often complained about having a headache in the morning, and more often than not, his throat felt dry when he woke up.
He never told Nancy about the other problems he was having at work. He had trouble staying awake whenever he sat down for more than 30 minutes. A couple times his co-workers caught him and teased him for trying to take a nap on the clock. (The time his supervisors caught him was a lot less amusing.)
He also never admitted how he’d had to fight to stay awake while he was driving home from work more than once.
Who knows how much longer that would have continued if Nancy hadn’t mentioned Bill’s snoring and breathing problems to one of her co-workers. It turns out, her spouse was doing something similar whenever he fell asleep.
When he was diagnosed with sleep apnea, they were able to get treatment. Now, her co-worker sleeps through the night, and her husband rarely snores. Her co-worker suggested calling Clear Lake Dental Care, too.
The Dentist Appointment
Nancy made an appointment for her and Bill to get a cleaning. While she was there, she mentioned Bill’s snoring to Dr. Das, who took some time to talk to both of them about sleep apnea.
Dr. Das asked Bill some question about other symptoms, like daytime sleepiness, and he helped Bill set up a sleep study to find out if he had sleep apnea. Until that moment, Bill had never heard of this sleep disorder.
Bill and Nancy started doing some research on their own as they got ready for his sleep study.
They learned that people with obstructive sleep apnea stop breathing when they fall asleep because the muscles around their airways relax. These causes those tissues to block their airways.
Partial blockages amplify the sound of snoring, and complete blockages lead them to stop breathing.
They were a little surprised to learn how frequently those stoppages can occur. Someone with mild sleep apnea can stop breathing up to 14 times per hour, and each of those stoppages can last up to 30 seconds at a time. People with severe sleep apnea stop breathing more than 30 times per hour.
They found out that people with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to have high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Research also showed that people with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to be the driver in an automobile collision, too.
The more research they did, the more they were convinced that Bill needed to have that sleep study.
The sleep study confirmed that Bill had moderate sleep apnea, which meant he had a couple treatment options.
The first option was a CPAP machine, which would require him to wear a mask that blows air into his airways as he sleeps.
An alternative treatment was one that he could get through Clear Lake Dental Care. Dr. Das was able to help design an oral appliance, which is a kind of mouthpiece that changed the position of Bill’s jaw. This helped his airways stay open.
That meant he could continue breathing while he slept, and he would snore less. As a result, Nancy could sleep easier, too.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
The Bill and Nancy in today’s post are not a real couple, but we also know that many real couples are facing similar problems.
We want to help. If you have never been tested for sleep apnea, we can help you arrange a sleep study. If you have been diagnosed, but you have trouble using a CPAP machine, talk to us about making an oral appliance.
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