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Dentist in Greenwood Indiana Explains How Sleep Apnea Harms the Body

Sleep apnea results to more than just that loud, annoying snoring. A dentist in Greenwood, Indiana illustrates how it occurs and how it affects the overall health.

Greenwood, IN, June 10, 2015 --( Sleep apnea is a widespread disorder that afflicts as much as 50% of older men and 25% of women. It is characterized by the disruption of airflow during sleep and can be debilitating because it deprives the body of its much needed restorative sleep, as well as paves way to the early onset of memory decline. Dr. Richard Gillum, an experienced dentist in Greenwood, Indiana, explains the mechanics of this sleeping condition.

During sleep, it’s natural for the muscles of the mouth, tongue, and pharynx to relax, but not enough to block the airway passage. However, in sleep apnea, the tongue relaxes too much such that it gets pulled by the negative air pressure heading for the lungs, narrowing the airway and creating the loud and persistent snoring sound.

When the tongue obstructs the airway, breathing stops, causing the blood oxygen concentration to drop at an alarming rate. This in turn prompts the brain to give the individual an adrenalin jolt to wake him up in order to start breathing again. The person may gasp for air to reinstate air flow before falling back to sleep.

The body needs quality sleep in order to be energetic and sharp for the following day. According to Dr. Gillum, this cycle of waking up may occur multiple times throughout the night, thereby preventing the person from spending adequate time in deep sleep, and thus resulting to chronic sleep deprivation. Aside from daytime sleepiness, people who don’t get enough sleep easily lose focus and become less productive, and more prone to accidents.

Additionally, there are substantial studies that suggest sleep apnea speeds up memory impairment and people with this condition tend to develop Alzheimer’s more often than those who get sufficient sleep. This memory decline may be seen within an average of 10 years. Furthermore, the individual may develop uncontrolled high blood pressure and metabolic disorders, such as obesity.

Certain treatments for sleep apnea include oral appliances, which can delay the onset of cognitive decline by as much as 10 years, significantly enhancing the life of the wearer. For more information about oral appliances available through Gillum Dentistry, feel free to visit

About Gillum Dentistry
Dr. Richard Gillum is among the most trusted dentists in Greenwood, IN. He’s been serving the area residents since founding his facility in 1984. He studied in Indiana University for three years before being admitted to the IU School of Dentistry, where he garnered honors in clinical dentistry. His practice is basically focused on family dentistry, orthodontics and dental sleep medicine. The doctor prioritizes comfort for his patients above all and makes sure they’re provided a relaxing dental experience.
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Gillum Dentistry
Richard Gillum

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