Dental News

Your Dentist is Your First Line of Defense in Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea

November 12, 2018

Your Dentist is Your First Line of Defense in Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea

Have you or a loved one been living with sleep apnea? If so, then you likely know that it can lead to serious health issues. If you are not sure if you have sleep apnea but want more information, then you are in the right place. Keep reading to learn more about this treatable condition and then contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 to get a free evaluation.

What exactly is sleep apnea?

Though it is common, it is also potentially dangerous. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the breath is interrupted during sleep. This happens repeatedly. If not treated, breathing stops or becomes extremely shallow during sleep. Breath pauses can last as long as 20 seconds and it can happen hundreds of times during sleep. This can jolt the sufferer out of their natural sleep rhythm.

As a result, the person who has sleep apnea spends a lot more time in light sleep than the deep sleep they need to be truly restorative. This can cause the sufferer to not be as mentally sharp, energetic, or productive as they would otherwise be. Those most likely to suffer from sleep apnea include men, people with excess weight, and people 40 years or older. That said, everyone can have sleep apnea – even a child.

There are several types of sleep apnea

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. It happens when the soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes during sleep. It then blocks the airway and often leads to loud snoring. Central sleep apnea is less common and involves the central nervous system not signaling correctly to the muscles that control breathing. This type of sleep apnea rarely causes snoring.

The final type of sleep apnea is complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of both types of sleep apnea discussed above.

How to treat sleep apnea

The good news is that there are a number of treatment options for sleep apnea. The first and most common is getting fitted with (and wearing) an oral appliance. Your California dentist will create a plastic-like mold that forms to your specific teeth and mouth. They both stop snoring and work against sleep apnea.

For more serious cases, a CPAP may be required, which is a machine that must be worn at night. For even more severe cases, apnea oral surgery is a treatment option. The good news is that the vast majority of patients fund total relief with the oral appliance.

If you are worried about your snoring, or the snoring of a loved one, then it may be time to see a dentist about sleep apnea. If you feel unrested even after sleeping for eight hours, then you may have sleep apnea. Contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 today to set up an appointment.

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