What Is Sleep Apnea?
When our patients snore, they may be putting their health at risk. That is because snoring can be caused by a condition called sleep apnea. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea should contact our team at Amherst Village Dental.
Sleep Apnea Is Not Something To Take Lightly
In addition to causing snoring, sleep apnea is also responsible for the fatigue that the patient feels during the day. Sleep apnea causes tissues in the throat to tighten up and restrict, reducing the amount of air and oxygen that the patient breathes. When this occurs, the brain enters an alert state and attempts to goad the body into taking in more oxygen. During this time, the patient is not in a state of deep sleep and therefore is not getting the restful benefits of sleep. Furthermore, sleep apnea may have a detrimental effect on the individual’s dental health. People who snore in their sleep sometimes leave their mouths open which dries them out, making accumulation easier for harmful bacteria.
The Three Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the variant that restricts the airways while the patient sleeps. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain itself fails to send the proper signals to the central nervous system, causing interrupted breathing or stopped breathing. And mixed sleep apnea combines aspects of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
How to Know If You Have Apnea
The clearest warning symptom of sleep apnea is constant day-long drowsiness. Snoring isn’t always as obvious for those who live alone, but there are smartphone apps and hardware devices that can determine whether someone snores. One alarming symptom is when the patient stops breathing completely during sleep. This symptom is hard to detect without a partner to report the stopped breathing. Patients with sleep apnea often sleep while gasping for air. Headaches in the morning are another symptom of sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea are often irritable during the day due to the poor rest they received in the previous night.
Sleep Apnea Can Be Treated Efficiently
Sleep apnea can be treated, and many people can relieve the negative symptoms with oral appliance therapy. Ways to treat moderate cases of sleep apnea include mouthguards to move the lower jaw forward to expand the airway in the throat, and tongue retainers to prevent the tongue from moving backward for people who sleep on their backs. Severe sleep apnea cases may require a CPAP to push extra oxygen through the throat. This includes a mask that is connected to an oxygen tank and requires electricity to operate. There are instances where UPPP surgery may be needed for those who either don't want to use oral appliance therapy or CPAP equipment. Sometimes these options are not viable for especially severe cases and may require surgery regardless. The procedure can vary between different people.
Learn more about oral appliances therapy.
If You Have Any Questions, Please Contact Us
If you have sleep apnea, please contact our team at Amherst Village Dental. You can call our office at 603-769-8985 if you wish to make an appointment with our professionals.