Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea affects as many as every 2 out of 10 people! People with sleep apnea often complain of excessive sleepiness during the day. Some times they may not feel sleepy but just have trouble concentrating, or become unusually forgetful, irritable, depressed or anxious. People with sleep apnea are two to five times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than those who don’t suffer from this disorder. Sleep apnea can have serious effects on blood pressure and increase the risks of cardiovascular disease, strokes and mortality.

What to Look Out For

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious matter as it can lead to heart problems and other health issues. It’s possible you may have OSA if you snore and also suffer from any of the following:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Poor memory/confusion
  • Accident proneness
  • Night sweats
  • Morning headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

 

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

The underlying cause of sleep apnea is a blockage or obstruction in the airway causing brief or prolonged pauses in breathing. These blockages can happen when your throat muscles and tongue relax more than is normal, the tonsils and adenoids are large, when there is extra soft tissue in the throat or even when the shape of the head and neck results in a somewhat smaller opening in the mouth and throat. In many cases, people will sleep apnea tend to grind their teeth at night as well since they are trying to move their teeth to open their airway, and that can cause further damage to teeth and bone.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

By now you’re probably wondering: What does my dentist have to do with all this? Here’s the connection: Snoring or sleep apnea can often be treated with an oral appliance available here at the dental office that’s designed to hold the lower jaw forward during sleep. This repositioning of the jaw moves the tongue away from the back of the throat, reducing the potential for obstruction. This treatment is backed by a great deal of scientific evidence; it’s a good remedy to try before moving on to more complicated breathing devices or surgery to remove excess tissues in the throat. Treating sleep apnea is very effective with a dental device that treats the underlying cause of Sleep Apnea by naturally repositioning your jaw while you sleep and allowing the airway to stay open. It’s safe, conservative and has proven to be very successful in treating mild and moderate Sleep Apnea.

Only a dentist can fabricate, fit, adjust, monitor, and treat complications associated with Oral Appliance Therapy used in managing SRBD. So if you or a loved one is experiencing any combination of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, please come in and talk to us about Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). Even if something beyond OAT is called for in your particular case, we will make sure you get the help you need.