Sleep Apnea & Snoring

The hidden Dangers.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Apnea means to stop breathing. Sleep Apnea refers to a condition wherein you stop breathing during sleep. Most of us know someone who snores during sleep. While snoring is often made the subject of jokes or teasing, it could be an indication of a serious health problem. The severity and danger associated with sleep apnea ranges from the snoring that irritates your partner to life-threatening medical conditions. Of the apnea involves physical obstruction of the upper airway and/or heavy snoring, it is sometimes referred to as Sleep Disorder Breathing (SDB).


Obstruction Sleep Apnea?
OSA descried an effort to breath, nut there is a physical obstructions of the airway causing apnea. It may be caused by a collapse of the soft tissue at the back of the mouth and in the throat, sometimes related to the inability to properly breather though the nose. If the jaw is too small to accommodate the tongue, the tongue has a tendency to fall back, further restricting your airway. This constriction impedes airflow. As you inhale and exhale, the soft tissues of the throat vibrate and cause the sound of snoring. In more severe cases, when apnea occurs- you literally stop breathing for 10 seconds or more. When breathing stop, blood oxygen levels fall forcing the heart to work harder, causing blood pressure to rise. While this may disturb the sleep cycle, the persons often do not wake up but feel tired in the morning. Some of the conditions associated with OSA include high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, gastric reflux, depression, and diabetes. It is important to note that you don’t have to be overweigh to have OSA.
 
Signs and Symptoms of sleep Apnea
Snoring
Waking up tired
Dry mouth/ throat
Difficulty concentrating
Weight gain
Fatigue
Sleepiness
Irritability

How is sleep Apnea Diagnosed
Talk to your dentist who can refer you to a qualified physician with specialized training in the field of sleep medicine.

 

What are some options for treating OSA?
In some cases, surgery to remove obstructions or to stiffen the flabbily throat tissue. Cases of severe sleep apnea, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure(CPAP) is often the first choice for treatment. Although painless and effective, some patients and their partners do not tolerate sleeping with the CPAP machine very well. In those cases, and in many moderate cases, oral appliances are often a good choice.

What is the Dentist Role in Treatment?
Properly trained dentist can make custom fitted oral appliances that are worn over the teeth at night to prevent the jaw from falling back during sleep, keeping the airway open.
If you or someone you know exhibits any of the symptoms listed in this website, be sure to bring it to our attention. We can provide further information for your about this potentiallu serious condition. You could save a life!

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