Sleep apnea basically means that you stop breathing – or don’t breathe enough – during sleep. In fact, “apnea” is related to the Greek word for breath. There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, caused when the soft tissue in the back of your mouth becomes relaxed during sleep and blocks the airway; and Central Apnea, a lack of effort to breathe.
What are the main symptoms?
There is a wide range of symptoms that might indicate Obstructive Sleep Apnea including:
- Chronic, Loud Snoring
- Daytime Sleepiness
- Chronic Fatigue
- Impaired Memory and Judgement
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Grinding of Teeth
Why is it so dangerous?
When the airway becomes obstructed, the oxygen level in your blood decreases. Another problem is that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) keeps sufferers from entering the REM cycle of sleep, which lowers the quality of restful and restorative sleep. As a result, OSA can lead to:
- Heart Attack
- High Blood Pressure
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Acid Reflux/GERD
- Hormone Imbalance
- Weight Gain
How can a dentist help?
One of our most effective treatment options is the use of an oral sleep appliance to help keep your airway open and let you get a good night’s rest. These oral sleep appliances are small, portable and comfortable and can be a tremendous help to anyone who has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and can’t wear a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask.
These sleep apnea appliances generally use the same principles used during cardiopulmonary resuscitation to keep the airway open. In other words, the lower jaw is held slightly forward to prevent the collapse of the soft tissue in the airway, to keep the airway open and allow normal, quiet, restful breathing. Our appliances are custom fitted to your mouth shape and size for the ultimate fit and comfort.
For additional information please visit: HelpGuide.Org-SleepApnea