Even after getting a full night’s sleep, you can barely pry your eyes open as you get ready for work. You make a second cup of coffee, hoping the warm beverage will breathe some life into you. As you commute to work, you find yourself nodding off, despite blaring your favorite music on the stereo. A loud horn from the car next to you jolts you awake, and you realize how close to disaster you were.
Situations like this are far too common. In this year alone, 103 million Americans have fallen asleep at the wheel! If you’re part of that statistic, you may have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Continue reading to learn the dangers of drowsy driving, signs that you might have sleep apnea, and how your dentist can help.
How Dangerous Is Drowsy Driving?
It’s no secret that drowsy driving can have deadly consequences. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation has stated that tiredness can hinder driving performance just as much (if not even more so) than alcohol. According to the American Automobile Association, more than 16% of fatal car accidents are the result of drowsy driving.
Before the consequences become gravely serious, it’s crucial that you seek medical treatment if you feel chronically fatigued no matter how long you sleep.
Signs That You Might Have Sleep Apnea
One of the most common sleep disorders, sleep apnea is caused by tissues in the mouth or throat collapsing and preventing you from berthing properly. Your body then wakes you up gasping for air. While you might not remember these episodes, they can happen dozens or hundreds of times a night. You never achieve the deep sleep you need to feel well-rested, meaning you wake up exhausted.
As prevalent as sleep apnea is, it often flies under the radar. That’s why you should be on the lookout for these common symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Depression, irritability, or frequent mood swings
- Chronic fatigue throughout the day
How Your Dentist Can Help
If you suspect sleep apnea is lowering your quality of life and putting you in risky situations, like drowsy driving, then it’s time to call your dentist. Their comprehensive knowledge of the mouth, throat, and jaw makes them well-qualified to clear your airway and help you sleep easier at night. Plus, the latest dental technology lets you achieve restful sleep without the need for invasive surgery or loud, uncomfortable machinery!
Drowsy driving is no laughing matter. Talk to your dentist if you’re ready to get a full night’s rest and keep yourself and others safe in the process!
About the Practice
Our four experienced dentists at Cranbrook Dental Care provide a wide array of services, including sleep apnea therapy. We can create a custom oral appliance that comfortably repositions your jaw and keeps your airway open, ensuring you get quality shut-eye. If you’re ready to say goodbye to drowsy driving, visit our website or call 248-647-5434.