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All posts by Warrenton Dental Center

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes


Let’s cut to the main point of this blog post: sleep apnea can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s that to the point. Sleep apnea is a condition where a person’s airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep. As a result, breathing will stop and start throughout the night. Approximately 13 percent of men and 6 percent of women suffer from moderate to severe undiagnosed sleep apnea. While the percentages might seem small, it is important that we do not ignore them.

What is the Connection?

The World Health Organization states that approximately one in every 10 adults suffers from diabetes. Of those with diabetes, a majority has type 2 diabetes, which is when the body can’t make or process enough of the insulin hormone. For those who have type 2 diabetes, obesity is an increased risk. In addition, sleep apnea is also an increased risk for obesity and vice versa.

We need to place a high amount of focus in preventing sleep apnea. By screening for diabetes if you have sleep apnea, and screening for sleep apnea if you have diabetes, we can take strides in further protection against both conditions. This also holds true for those who are overweight and physically inactive people.

It is important to be aware of the link between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. While ongoing research is still being completed, knowing there is a connection is key to protecting your overall health and well-being. Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster for more information on the connection between sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes, and how we can help.

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Are You at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Stop searching for answers across the Internet—we’ve got some risks to share with you so you don’t have to look any further. As you know, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when breathing pathways through the mouth, nose or throat are collapsed or blocked. These airways are susceptible to blockages, or collapse, as the muscle tone lining these pathways relaxes during sleep. So, who is at risk for sleep apnea? Let’s find out!

You are at Risk If…

Those who are the most at risk for developing sleep apnea are overweight individuals. Due to excess tissue, pressure is placed on the airway. More than half of those with sleep apnea are classified as overweight—an issue we need to tackle now. Your risk for developing sleep apnea significantly increases with increased weight, age and those with diabetes, as well as smokers.

You may also be susceptible to sleep apnea if you have a constricted shape or small size of certain features in the nose, mouth or throat. Allergies and other medical conditions can also cause the features along the airway to restrict the flow of oxygen. On the other hand, sleep apnea is often more common in men than women. It is also more common among African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders than Caucasians.

Contact Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Virginia for more information and to find out if you have sleep apnea. Together, Dr. Foster and her team of dental professionals can help improve your health.

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There’s a New Link to Your Anxiety: Sleep Apnea

Many of us carry a lot of stress on our shoulders, and a lot of times it means extreme anxiety toward a variety of things. No matter the cause, the stress or anxiety is always a constant, every day factor. Many people think that being tired during the day is a normal part of being stressed, but it isn’t. If you ever feel sleepy throughout the day, it is important to get tested and treated for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea affects people while they’re sleeping, which can be particularly jarring. Some people have to wear special masks connected to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines to ensure that they breathe normally throughout the night and the threat of breathing problems can cause severe anxiety. In turn, this anxiety may make sleep problems worse and sleep deprivation will continue to contribute to both depression and anxiety. Let’s learn more…

The Sleep Apnea and Anxiety Connection

For people already under tons of stress, you’re missing out on restorative sleep that slows the aging process and improves cognitive function—this just compounds the stress you face during the day. A huge source of anxiety during the day is actually from a feeling of breathlessness they experience at night. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you’re panicked all night long as you gasp for air — unconscious and unaware the entire time, but still paying the emotional price in the form of anxiety during the day.

To get ahead of stress, it is important to wake up feeling positive and optimistic in order to handle the next day’s events. If you are feeling any symptoms of anxiety or are waking up exhausted, it is important to visit a dentist to take the next steps toward diagnosis and proper treatment planning.

Contact Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Virginia to learn more about anxiety and sleep apnea. There continues to be a connection we need to pay close attention to and there are solutions that can help you get the rest you need to feel less stress.

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February is American Heart Health Month

We commonly associate February with Valentine’s Day, but did you know it is American Heart Month, too? If you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, why not give the gift of heart health? This is a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle by making small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. And, while all Americans are at a risk of heart disease, African American men, especially those who live in the southeast region of the United States, are at the highest risk for heart disease. In addition, 40% of African Americans have high blood pressure, which is also a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

For this reason, during American Heart Month, we want to encourage you to make a change in your health and start new, heart-healthy behaviors to improve your health, while reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Small changes can make all the difference in your health!

A Sleep Apnea Connection

Expanding on the topic of heart health, we also want to point out the connection between sleep apnea and heart disease. Due to low oxygen or the stress of waking up frequently during sleep, many people die in the middle of the night as a result of sleep apnea. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, while stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, and is also a leading cause of disability with high blood pressure being a major risk in both conditions.

Sleep apnea, hypertension and heart disease continue to have a strong connection. Because of this, it is vital that everyone understand how these conditions are connected. Once you understand the importance of these strong connections, you can seek the proper treatment you need.

Make a Change

To not only improve your health, but your heart health, too, here are some helpful tips to follow during the month of February and beyond:

  • Schedule a visit with us to talk about the sleep apnea and heart disease connection.
  • Talk to your family doctor about your heart health.
  • Add exercise to your daily routine (even just 30 minutes a day helps).
  • Increase your healthy eating (at least 3 times a week helps).
  • Take steps to quit smoking.
  • Take medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster to learn more about how you can further protect your heart health by treating sleep apnea.

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A Link Between Sleep Apnea and Weight

We understand there are numerous influencers in the development of sleep apnea. While we might not understand each connection, one thing that is clear is that weight loss can significantly improve the symptoms of sleep apnea. Because obesity is a leading cause of sleep apnea, it is important to exercise and lose weight to protect your overall health.

Weight Loss and Improved Sleep Apnea

Weight loss can significantly improve, and potentially eliminate, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) symptoms in people that are obese. Researchers continue to study the area of sleep apnea, which is how we have learned that people with severe OSA who lost the recommended amount of weight were three times more likely to experience remission of sleep apnea symptoms compared to those who did not lose any weight.

Most patients with sleep apnea are overweight, but that doesn’t mean everyone is obese—only some. By losing weight, you can eliminate fat that blocks the windpipe, and it will not only fix your sleep complications, but can also help with:

  • Cholesterol
  • Knee pain
  • Fit of your clothes
  • Overall feeling of yourself

It has even been found that moderate to severe sleep apnea can be completely corrected by losing excess weight. And, for others, even a small amount of weight loss can open up the throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you have lost weight, but are still experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to seek further care. While the weight loss might not have eliminated all of your symptoms, it still helped. Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Virginia to learn more about why your sleep apnea symptoms might still be present, and what treatment options are available. Through oral appliance therapy, you may finally find relief from your symptoms.

When was the last time you slept through the night, waking up feeling refreshed? Remember, sleep apnea should never be ignored. Dr. Foster at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Virginia can help provide relief from sleep apnea in Warrenton for many patients.

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A Sleep Apnea History Lesson

I love history—don’t you? While we can read books upon books on the history of the world, government, music, art, and so many other topics, what about the history of sleep apnea? We know the basis of sleep apnea, but let’s take a look at the history and how it became to be an issue we watch out for at Warrenton Dental Care.

Beginnings of Sleep Apnea

Since the ancient times, sleep apnea has been observed. Even if a treatment or cause was not clear, it was still known what sleep apnea was. In the late 19th century, the term “Pickwickian Syndrome” was created to describe symptoms of sleep apnea. Research, though, focused on the patients’ obesity rather than the disordered breathing they were experiencing during sleep.

In 1965, the first polysomnograph recorded apneas during sleep, which were the frequent occurrences of stoppage in breathing throughout the night. Further research continued to show that obesity was not essential for sleep apnea, as there were many other comorbidities associated with this condition.

Continued Sleep Apnea Research

As sleep apnea continued, William Dement established the first sleep clinic at Stanford University in California in 1970. Two years later, Christian Guilleminault joined the clinic and concentrated on respiratory disorders during sleep. The research on sleep apnea continues to grow each year with more interest than ever before.

Between 1975 and 1980, there were 319 articles on sleep apnea in medical literature alone. This increase in awareness continues to help pave the way for advanced treatment options to successfully help you get a better night’s sleep. With history of sleep apnea continuing to expand to this day, dentists continue to provide advanced treatment options as an alternative to CPAP therapy.

To learn more about sleep apnea and how our dentist in Warrenton can help you find relief, visit Warrenton Dental Center. As a team, we are available to educate our patients in Warrenton, VA on sleep apnea and the available treatment options. Let us help you get a better night’s sleep.

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Lifestyle Changes Can Help Relieve Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Sleep apnea treatments are key to getting a better night’s sleep. However, there are some lifestyle changes you can make, too, that will significantly improve your symptoms. Through lifestyle changes, you can improve your sleep while eliminating sleep apnea symptoms. You can enjoy an improvement for your health and sleep. Continue reading to learn more about lifestyle changes you should make.

Quit Smoking

Yes, we all know that smoking is harmful to your health, but what about your sleep? Smoking has a significant negative impact on your overall health and sleep apnea. So toss that cigarette out and quit smoking today! If you quit smoking, you will notice the differences in not only your overall health, but sleep apnea symptoms as well. While quitting might be difficult, the end result is well worth the initial struggle. Protect your health and improve your sleep by quitting that bad habit today!

Exercise to Lose Weight

One of the leading causes of sleep apnea is obesity, which means one major change in your life should be exercise and weight loss. If you are overweight, your airway can become blocked. By losing weight you can improve your sleep and eliminate your symptoms, while also improving your overall heath. Remember to get regular exercise, even if that means only 30 minutes a day—every bit helps. By adding a little bit of exercise in your life, you can improve your health while getting a better night’s sleep.

Stop Drinking Alcohol

A glass of wine or beer after a long day might be enjoyable, but excessive drinking can be detrimental to your health and sleep. Minimize your alcohol intake or stop completely to further improve your health and sleep. It’s a compromise you will need to make to feel better.

To learn more about sleep apnea in Warrenton and lifestyle changes to make, contact Dr. Bonnie Foster. By properly treating sleep apnea, and making lifestyle changes, you can improve your overall health while getting a better night’s sleep. What are you waiting for?

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Sleep Apnea Signs and Symptoms

The most common sign of sleep apnea tends to be loud, chronic snoring, but it does not always mean you suffer from this condition. If you have heard someone snore before, or even if you were told you snore, it is important to seek further information about sleep apnea now.

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Questions About Sleep Apnea

To help you get a better understanding of sleep apnea, and understand what questions we might ask, we have put together a simple questionnaire for you. In this survey, you will see a series of questions about how likely you are to doze off during the day. Take a look:

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Our Dental Team

We’ve got exciting news! At Warrenton Dental, we are now offering services in dental sleep medicine (Don’t worry, we’ll tell you more). By providing advanced services, we can provide our patients with the best care possible for both oral and overall health. Through the completion of continuing education courses, our entire dental team has been able to prepare for these advanced services. Let’s take a look at the role of a few members of our dental team.

The Dentist

Leading the team is of course our dentist. In order to properly provide services in dental sleep medicine, such as sleep apnea treatment, Dr. Bonnie Foster had to attend seminars, lectures and other continuing education courses. Through these courses, Dr. Foster can now provide you with proper care for sleep apnea. From knowing the right questions to the signs, Dr. Foster maintains the ability to properly treat sleep apnea, so you can get a better night’s sleep. 

The Hygienist

As a partner in your health at every visit, our hygienist will be there every step of the way. Just like Dr. Bonnie Foster, our hygienist has completed continuing education to remain up-to-date with the latest advancements in dental sleep medicine. Our hygienists will ask you questions and will often notice the first signs of sleep apnea, even if you might not be aware of it yet. Seek the guidance of our hygienists to help guide you in your treatment journey.

The Office Manager

Our front desk staff and office manager will be your go-to for important information. From scheduling your appointment to asking for further information on sleep apnea, and other services, our team will work with you. Let us help you in your journey to finding a solution for your symptoms.

Contact our office today to learn more about sleep apnea and how our dental team can help you remain healthy and happy.

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