One of the reasons that sleep apnea comes about for some people is being overweight. It causes the body to shift when a person sleeps, making it harder for them to breathe. Plus, when a person is overweight, their body often struggles to work properly anyway. If you are having some issues with sleep apnea, one of the ways doctors often begin treatment is by working with the patient to lose a little weight. Even just a few pounds can help.
The Benefits of Losing Weight for a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
The palate of the mouth is the roof of the mouth that extends back to the throat. This is the part of the mouth that typically falls down into the airway when a person has obstructive sleep apnea. Losing weight can help reduce the amount of tissue that you have near the back of your throat, allowing you to breathe more effectively at night when you are supposed to be sleeping. You should make sure that you are safe to go about losing weight by talking to your doctor first, but once cleared for an exercise routine, this should be your first step towards treating sleep apnea.
Your doctor may work alongside your dentist to keep an eye on how your progress is going, since the mouth and the body are both affected. If losing weight does not reduce the size of the flap in the back of your throat enough to help stop the problems associated with sleep apnea, your doctor and dentist will likely work together to create a new treatment plan which may involve surgery to cut out any excess tissue that blocks your airway when you sleep. Make sure you talk about your sleep apnea honestly with both your doctor and dentist, and listen to their advice when it comes to how much weight to lose.
Please contact us if you have any questions about sleep apnea.