Sleep Apnea

Thinking you or your partner may be suffering from sleep apnea? If either of you snore often and/or tend to feel tired every morning even after getting a full night's sleep, then it is definitely worth your while to find out more about this serious sleeping disorder. You will need to make an appointment with a professional dentist who has experience in this area. If you or your partner do happen to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, then know that you will need to take action when it comes to finding the right solution.

Ready to learn more about this potentially life-threatening sleeping disorder so you can take corrective action if necessary?

What exactly is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes those diagnosed to stop breathing for short periods of time while they are sleeping. This can last anywhere from a few seconds up to a full minute. The reason people stop breathing is because their airway is obstructed by their tongue and soft tissues located at the back of their throat.

According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, nearly 30 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

Risk factors for sleep apnea

Some of the more common risk factors for being diagnosed with sleep apnea include being overweight, being diabetic, being diagnosed with hypertension, having a narrow airway, having a misaligned jaw and having a large neck circumference.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

In order for someone to receive an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis, they will need to contact a doctor for a consultation appointment. When someone has received an official sleep apnea diagnosis, a dentist is then able to treat the sleep apnea, as well as the snoring.

Sleep apnea risks

There are many risks that come with being diagnosed with sleep apnea, one of the most detrimental being the actual act of not breathing. When someone stops breathing, their oxygen levels lower, which starves the body and the brain of this much-needed oxygen. This means that the person diagnosed with sleep apnea not only does not get the deep sleep they need to feel rested, they also suffer from lack of oxygen, which negatively affects their overall health.

Additional sleep apnea consequences include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and gastric reflux disease.

Warning signs of sleep apnea

The following is a list of common warning signs that someone may be in need of a sleep apnea diagnosis.

  • They wake up during the night gasping for air
  • They wake themselves up snoring
  • They have early morning headaches that can last into the day
  • They feel groggy or sleepy and/or have difficulty concentrating
  • They tend to be irritable or moody 
  • They tend to feel anxious or depressed 

Treatment options for sleep apnea

When it comes to treating obstructive sleep apnea, choosing a dentist who is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine is recommended. The following is a list of treatment options available to treat sleep apnea.

CPAP, a.k.a. continuous positive airway pressure machine. CPAP is one of the more common treatment options given to those diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy utilizes a few different dental appliances that are to be worn when someone is sleeping in order to help keep their airway open so they are able to breathe easier, e.g. a special mouth guard. FDA-improved appliances are an option.

Surgery. More serious forms of obstructive sleep apnea will require a surgical procedure to be performed.

Have any questions about sleep apnea?

If you happen to have any questions about sleep apnea that we can answer for you, please feel free to contact us as soon as you can. Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder and should be treated as such. Our experienced team of dental professionals welcome any questions you have, as we believe the more you know, the better able you can address any sleeping issues you or your partner are currently experiencing.

Call (310) 747-6534 today to reach Sunset Center for Dental Excellence.

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