Dr. Scott Tamura was born in Los Angeles and has practiced dentistry in Marina Del Rey California for over 25 years. He is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, West Los Angeles Dental…
Do you have high blood pressure? How about heartburn, insomnia, daytime sleepiness-fatigue or diabetes? Do you know a child who has ADD, ADHD or wets their bed? All of these problems can be linked to a disease called Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
In Latin, “A” means without and “Pnea” means oxygen. So A-Pnea means without oxygen. Decreased oxygen to your heart and brain when you sleep at night due to your tongue obstructing (blocking) your airway is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
OSA is most often associated with snoring but there are people who snore who do not have OSA and people who have OSA who do not snore.
OSA is a very serious health condition that can be deadly and is largely undiagnosed in our society. If someone you know snores; and you hear them stop breathing during their sleep, while snoring, it is very important that you tell them they need to talk to their physician and ask for a referral to a Board Certified Sleep Doctor. By doing so, you may save their life.
Your tongue is connected to your lower jaw. Where ever your lower jaw goes, your tongue will go with it. If when you bite together, your teeth are positioned in such a way as to force your lower jaw back in order to get your teeth to fit together, and then every time you close your mouth your tongue is brought to the back of your throat. If your teeth retrude your lower jaw, then when you lay on your back at night your tongue will also be retruded. When you try to inhale oxygen at night, if your tongue is blocking your airway, you lungs will expand, but instead of inhaling oxygen, your windpipe will collapse. If this continues to happen all night long while you sleep, you will wake up and instead of being refreshed, you will be exhausted. Daytime sleepiness, fatigue and inability to focus while at school or work are telltale signs you may be at risk for this deadly disease.
The position of your teeth will affect the position of your lower jaw, which will affect the position of your tongue; therefore your teeth really can make you snore.
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