Tag Archives: heart disease

Sleep Apnea Affects Immune System: Is Your Immune System at Risk?

Let’s talk about how sleep apnea affects immune system … Are you going to bed every night, but waking up feeling cranky, tired, and drowsy? You may not be getting as much sleep as you think you are, and you definitely aren’t alone. Approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. suffer from this chronic condition.

Sleep Apnea is an extremely common problem that makes it very difficult to get a healthy amount of sleep at night. When we don’t get enough sleep, our entire body suffers for it and our immune system can also be at risk.

Sleep apnea explained HERE by The Mayo Clinic.

Effects on the Body

When we do sleep well, our body releases proteins called cytokines. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.”

Common symptoms of sleep apnea often include:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble paying attention/focus
  • Sore throat in the mornings
  • Dry mouth

Related Article: Sleep Apnea Symptoms: Can it be treated?

How Sleep Apnea Works

Sleep apnea causes your breathing to pause while sleeping. Repeated breathing pauses occur when your muscles relax while sleeping, as soft tissue collapses and blocks the airway and reduces your oxygen levels. When this happens, your body’s natural reaction is to wake up so you can resume breathing normally.

So, when we’re waking up throughout the night due to breathing interruptions, you’ll be left feeling tired the next day. However, sleep apnea can cause more than just tiredness and irritability. If left untreated, sleep apnea affects immune system issues and has been linked to cause problems, such as:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Acid reflux
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Other long-term health risks

Related Articles:

Learn More about the link between autoimmune diseases and sleep apnea HERE.

GPS Dental Can Help

Research does show that using an oral appliance, or mouthguard, is a helpful and effective treatment for sleep apnea. Your mouth guard only has to be worn when sleeping, and will support your jaw and open up your airway to stop any breathing interruptions.

At GPS Dental, we have helped many patients suffering from sleep apnea for several years now and look to continue doing so as the annual number of sleep apnea suffers within the U.S. continues to increase. If this sounds like you, come see us here at GPS Dental as by visiting our offices, Dr. Skrobanek can assess your sleep apnea and determine if the MAD appliance is right for you!

Related Article: How GPS Can Help with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Many dental insurance companies cover mouth guards, and it’s a wonderful option for keeping your immune system healthy and getting a good night’s rest. Learn about Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Antonio.

Related Article: Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Antonio

Read more sleep apnea blogs by GPS Dental.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers family dentistry for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Show Your Teeth Some Love: Gum Disease & Your Heart

tooth-brush-loveYour mouth and your heart might be more connected than you think! We always stress the importance of oral hygiene at GPS Dental. Most of our patients don’t realize what their oral health means for the rest of their body. Since February is Dental Health Month, it seemed only fitting to explore what dental health can do for you!

How Are Gum & Heart Disease Linked?

Scientists are still working out exactly how the two diseases interact, but the studies they have conducted show it’s too much to be a coincidence. Gum disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth in your mouth, and it’s the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Even though it’s too early to tell what gum disease says about your overall health, it was associated with several significant health conditions, such as heart disease in the studies, even after other risk factors were eliminated.

What does this mean for you? Approach your body’s health from a holistic stance. If one part of your body is failing, such as your gums, it could be a sign of other, more dangerous problems.

Related Read: Sensitive Teeth? 4 Steps for Reducing Pain

Ways You Can Show ‘Em the Love

Your Heart

  • Quit Smoking. Smoking cessation has been proven to reduce heart disease, and after only one year of being smoke-free, the risk for heart disease drops by as much as 50%.
  • Eat Well. While there are many opinions on exactly what makes a heart-healthy diet, it’s generally agreed upon that foods high in sugar and salt, alcoholic beverages, and foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil are out.
  • Get Active! Exercise is a key part of keeping your heart healthy. Click the link to see the recommended physical activity requirements for adults.
  • Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure. Talk to your doctor about high blood pressure, as it’s often difficult to detect on your own.

Your Gums

  • Quit Smoking. Not to sound like a broken record, but one study found that smokers were about four times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease. Again, your risk is reduced after you quit.
  • Brush Your Teeth. Brush after eating, and remember to include your tongue!
  • Floss. Flossing cleans parts of your mouth your toothbrush can’t reach. Make sure you floss all the way down along the gumline.

Even if your gums and pearly whites are looking great, you should still be visiting your dentist for regular checkups! Give GPS Dental a call at (210) 633-3477 to schedule your appointment today!