What is Sleep Apnea?
The word “apnea” is a Greek word meaning “without breath.” Sleep apnea is generally characterized by interruptions in normal sleep patterns due to temporary pauses in breathing. It is a chronic disorder that has the potential to worsen over time. More often than not, sleep apnea is misdiagnosed or missed completely. Symptoms can be confused with a separate health problem which is actually a component of the underlying sleep disorder. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the airway collapses during sleep, blocking the flow of air to the lungs. The person tries to continue to breathe but the harder they try, the tighter the airway closes. Eventually the brain “wakes ” the person to a lighter level of sleep and they reposition their jaw and tongue to open the airway (usually with a gasp or a snort). This process can occur hundreds of times a night for seconds to minutes at a time. Although the levels of severity of sleep apnea varies between individuals, it usually greatly affects the quality of life of the sufferer as well as their bed partner. If left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to heart disease, stroke, and premature death.
Your doctor might prescribe one of the following:
CPAP- A mask that delivers positive air flow to the nose and sometimes the mouth during sleep.
Implant Therapy- Nuero simulator implant for sleep apnea
Surgery- Physiscan may suggest surgery to elivate the passage ways
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:
- Easy to wear
- Convenient for travel
- Easy to care for
Is Snoring Keeping You Up At Night?
While you sleep, the muscles of your throat relax, your tongue falls backward, and your throat becomes narrow and “floppy.” As you breathe, the walls of the throat begin to vibrate leading to the sound of snoring. The narrower your airway becomes, the greater the vibration and the louder you snore. Sometimes the walls of the throat collapse completely creating a condition called apnea (cessation of breathing). This is a serious condition which requires medical attention.
When To Call Medical Arts Dentistry
If your physician believes that your snoring is not a symptom of a more serious sleep disordered breathing problem, an oral appliance can be used to quiet your snoring and improve the sleep of your bed partner! Medical Arts Dentistry is here to help you regain your sleep and wake rested and ready for the day. Call us at 912-921-0401.