St. Augustine, FL

Most of us don’t get enough sleep, but that’s usually thanks to staying up too late and waking early the next day. And if you’re living for the weekend so that you can sleep in and “catch up” on sleep, you aren’t doing your body any favors because you can’t actually catch up on lost sleep. But for some people, obstructive sleep apnea is to blame for their poor sleep quality. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which soft tissue partially or completely blocks the airways while sleeping, which often results in snoring or loud gasps for air. While snoring is one of the most prominent symptoms of sleep apnea, there are other surprising signs. So today on the blog, our St. Augustine sleep apnea dentist Dr. Stephanie Kinsey shares seven unsuspecting signs that you could have sleep apnea and what you should do about it.

sleep apnea

  1. Waking with a dry mouth or sore throat

Snorers often sleep with their mouths open, which results in a dry mouth or a sore throat the next morning. You may experience these symptoms even if you don’t have sleep apnea, although frequently waking with a dry mouth or sore throat with no other explanation like a cold, then you could have obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, it’s essential not to ignore dry mouth because it also poses risks to your oral health by increasing bacteria responsible for cavities, gum disease, and chronic bad breath.

  1. Starting the day with headaches

Frequent morning headaches are common among sleep apnea sufferers. The cause of these headaches is partially because your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, and because you aren’t getting enough quality sleep. When sleep apnea occurs, the brain signals to the body that it isn’t getting enough air by waking out of the REM sleep cycle, the deepest sleep stage. Therefore, these frequent awakenings, even if you don’t realize that you’re doing it, leave your brain deprived and exhausted, which could cause morning headaches on the regular.

  1. Feeling tired or chronic fatigue

Most adults report feeling tired or having chronic fatigue most days of the week. While there are many other factors that contribute to energy levels, missing out on quality sleep is definitely not doing your body any favors. Since obstructive sleep apnea disrupts the deep sleep stage, your body simply isn’t resting enough no matter how early you go to bed. Therefore, if you’re still tired after spending what seems like a solid number of hours in bed each night, it’s possible that obstructive sleep apnea is to blame for your chronic daytime fatigue.

  1. Jaw clenching and grinding

Commonly referred to as bruxism, many adults clench and grind their teeth while sleeping. Not only can this habit damage your teeth, but can also cause jaw joint pain, headaches, and neck pain. It’s coincidentally a common sign of sleep apnea. If you notice unexplained toothaches, tender jaw joints, or head or neck pain every morning, ask Dr. Kinsey about a sleep apnea screening in St. Augustine.

  1. Experiencing anxiety or anxious feelings more often than not

Feeling anxious is normal, but some people battle with uncontrollable anxiety that hinders their daily life. Studies have shown that a lack of quality sleep could exacerbate anxiety disorders. And in some cases, patients could be overmedicating themselves for a disorder that they don’t really have when instead, lack of quality sleep could be the issue.

  1. Gaining weight or having trouble losing weight

Listen to any health expert or influencer and you will hear them say that quality sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising daily. Untreated sleep apnea could hinder your weight loss efforts or cause you to gain weight. Therefore, if you struggle with your weight and seem to be doing everything else right in your health journey, it may be time to consider an airway evaluation in Palm Coast.

  1. Having chronic health issues

Most often, people think of their mouth as a separate body part unrelated to the rest of their health. But the truth is that the mouth is the window to your health. What goes on in your mouth could have devastating consequences on the rest of your body. Obstructive sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. And if you already have one of these conditions, untreated sleep apnea could make it difficult to manage the disease.

Sleep Apnea Screening in St. Augustine and Palm Coast, Florida

Snoring may be the most common symptom of sleep apnea, but it isn’t the only one. You could have sleep apnea and not snore. Therefore, if you experience one of the other symptoms associated with sleep apnea, you should schedule an airway screening with Palencia Dental today by calling (904) 474-5444.