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How many times do you hit the snooze button in the morning trying to catch just a few more Zzzzs? A restful night’s sleep may be eluding you due to sleep apnea, a common disorder the National Institutes of Health estimates affects more than 25 million Americans. Unfortunately, many people don’t know they have the disorder and one study suggests only 16 percent of sleep apnea sufferers receive treatment.
Sleep apnea refers to the cessation of breathing during sleep, a problem that can affect both adults and children. If you think you may have sleep apnea, talk to your physician about becoming conducting a sleep study. Don’t lose more sleep if the diagnosis is confirmed – there are several treatments available to help.
You may be surprised to learn that in the past few years dentists, like ours at Towncare Dental of Cutler Bay, have become part of the solution for sleep apnea. You may be familiar with the CPAP mask, a common treatment for the sleep disorder that increases air pressure in your throat that prevents the airway from collapsing. For some, the mask is cumbersome and not an ideal fix. In those instances, your doctor may refer you to our office where our dentist is qualified to administer Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).
To learn how our dentist in Cutler Bay can assist you with your sleep apnea, please call us today at (786) 619-3434.
What Happens if Sleep Apnea Remains Untreated?
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to your overall wellness to pursue treatment for sleep apnea. People with this sleep disorder stop breathing multiple times during the night, often because their airway becomes obstructed by the tongue, excess tissue in the throat, obesity, nasal obstruction, or an enlarged uvula or tonsil. When these interruptions occur, it can dangerously lower the body’s oxygen levels, compelling your brain to wake up and take a breath. Sleep apnea can interrupt your sleep dozens or even hundreds of times a night, making it nearly impossible to get a good night’s rest.
If sleep apnea remains untreated, it can prompt other health concerns including stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, memory problems and Inability to concentrate.
What are Some Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Symptoms that can alert you to the possibility of having the sleep disorder include lethargy, gasping for air while sleeping, short-term memory loss, weight gain, indigestion, sinus issues and headaches and intense snoring.
If you have any of these symptoms, seek input from your primary care doctor. Once you’ve been diagnosed, ask your physician if Oral Appliance Therapy in Cutler Bay is a possible treatment for you.
How Does Sleep Apnea Occur?
Only a doctor can determine which of the three types of sleep apnea you have:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is an airway blockage caused by a genetic flaw such as excessive tissue in the back of the tongue, nose or throat. form of sleep apnea usually responds well to Oral Appliance Therapy.
- Central sleep apnea results when the brain fails to send appropriate signals to muscles responsible for breathing.
- Mixed sleep apnea (sometimes called complex sleep apnea) is when both central and obstructive sleep apnea are present.
How Can My Dentist in Cutler Bay Help Me with Sleep Apnea?
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is generally used for treating mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring caused by a reoccurring airway obstruction. Our experienced dentist at Towncare Dental of Cutler Bay may be able to correct obstructive sleep apnea with a custom-made oral appliance that is worn when you go to bed. The oral appliance, designed to keep your airway open, is similar to a mouth guard or a retainer.
If the dentist determines your sleep apnea is caused by your tongue resting on the airway, a tongue-retaining device may be able to fix the problem. If the sleep disorder is induced by the position of your jaw, our dentist may be able to treat the problem with a device or headgear. All of these oral devices are removable and are only worn when you sleep.
People with severe sleep apnea are usually not the best candidates for oral appliances because the treatment will not adequately fix their issues. For those patients, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy remains the best choice of care. However, if the patient doesn’t respond well to the CPAP mask or treatment, your physician or sleep specialist can suggest other options.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Treatment Consultation Today
You deserve a good night’s rest. Take control of your dreams by contacting our dentist in Cutler Baytoday for a sleep apnea treatment consultation.