A surprising number of people stop breathing while they sleep. this can happen hundreds of times a night. It interrupts rejuvenating deep sleep and can lead to changes in the blood.
These changes can lead to heart damage or even heart attack.
And, when the victim awakens to the restriction in breathing, it brings them into the lighter levels of sleep where clenching and grinding can go on big time.
And think of what goes on when your throat is closed off and you are trying to suck in air. That results in a big negative pressure–suction– in the chest cavity. This can, in turn, draw the contents of the stomach up into the esophagus and lead to heartburn.
This is often labeled GRD, gastric reflux disease.
Bring up acid into the esophagus long enough and the next thing you know, you have a cancer going there.
What’s more, if the acid comes up into the mouth, it can literally MELT the teeth.
And sometimes it all works backwards. First, someone has acid come up into the esophagus and then into the throat. Next, their airway closes down in an attempt to protect itself. And, of course, at this point they’re awake enough to do more damage by clenching and grinding.
If you suspect you have either GRD or Sleep Apnea, it is imperative that you contact your physian! Most responsible docs will then order a sleep study. We have a great sleep center nearby at the Pomona Valley Hospital.