Are you feeling tired or sleepy during the day? Do you have a hard time breathing when lying down at night? If so, then you may have obstructive sleep apnea. This is a condition in which your throat muscles relax while asleep and block your airway. It can be very dangerous for your health if left untreated!
Here at North Pointe Dental Associates, in addition to general and cosmetic dentistry, we specialize in helping our patients minimize or completely eradicate the challenges often caused by obstructive sleep apnea. Read on to learn more about how this condition affects people’s lives and what treatments are available.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder that can affect people of all ages and both genders. It occurs when the muscles in your throat relax during sleep and block your airway passage. This means you’re not able to get enough oxygen, which makes it difficult to wake up from this state of unconsciousness each night.
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. In addition to all of the health detriments, sleep apnea can affect those close to you if you snore loudly every night or have difficulty breathing when you sleep by interrupting their sleep. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces that keep your airway open while you sleep, and surgery.
What are the effects of sleep apnea?
While loud snoring can be an embarrassing and annoying issue, it is far from being the only consequence of sleep apnea. In fact, there are far greater effects it can have.
OSA may also cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias, diabetes, weight gain, memory loss, depression, or other emotional problems. These are just some of the signs that someone may have obstructive sleep apnea! If left untreated over time, OSA can even lead to serious complications such as cardiovascular disease or premature death!
Fortunately, there are several treatments available for obstructive sleep apnea, including lifestyle changes, dental devices, and surgery.
One example is a sleep apnea mouthpiece that can help you stop snoring and enjoy a good night’s rest with your partner again! It has been proven clinically tested by scientists and medical professionals in its effectiveness against sleeping disorders caused by facial muscle relaxation during sleep apnea syndrome (the most common one).
There are other dental devices that can be effective for sleep apnea. One is an oral appliance called a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). This device is worn like a retainer and gently moves the lower jaw forward, keeping the airway open during sleep.
Another option is a nasal CPAP machine, which supplies pressurized air through a mask to keep the airway open. There are three main types of CPAP machines: auto-adjusting, standard and bilevel. An auto-adjusting machine is the best choice for most people because it adjusts to your needs as you sleep. A standard machine is good if you know what pressure works for you, while a bilevel machine has two different pressures that can be set depending on your needs.
Schedule your appointment today!
Talk to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from this condition – early diagnosis and treatment are key to preventing serious health problems! Give us a call at (813) 961-1727 and schedule your appointment to discuss sleep apnea and potential treatments with our friendly and professionally trained personnel.