What You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that results in difficulties with breathing while asleep. It can disrupt your sleep cycle more than 30 times a night, manifesting as pauses in regular breathing, sudden gasps during sleep, morning headaches, daytime fatigue and mental fogginess, and, notably, excessive snoring that can disturb your bed partner.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – The most prevalent form of sleep apnea, OSA occurs when tissues in the back of the throat collapse and obstruct the airway during sleep.
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) – This type of apnea is caused by disruptions in communication between your brain and muscles, resulting in breathing interruptions.
There are two primary types of sleep apnea:
Benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatment for Your Health and Well-being
Achieving a restful night’s sleep is crucial for your overall physical and emotional wellness. Even if you aren’t consciously aware of nighttime awakenings, sleep apnea can disrupt your sleep cycle, impacting your health, relationships, and quality of life in the short and long term. Besides the obvious advantage of better sleep, what other advantages come with sleep apnea treatment?
Enhanced Physical Health
Treating sleep apnea can significantly lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart problems, type 2 diabetes, liver issues, and reduce stress on your metabolic system. It may also mitigate the additional risks associated with surgery or medication.
Regain Your Normal Self
Are you experiencing moments of forgetfulness or struggling to find the right words? Many sleep apnea sufferers wake up feeling groggy and mentally foggy all day. With effective sleep apnea treatment, patients often report improved mental clarity, increased focus, and a return to their true selves.
Sleep apnea treatment benefits both you and your partner. By minimizing or eliminating restlessness and snoring, you provide your partner with a higher-quality, uninterrupted night’s sleep. Both of you will wake up in a better mood, making parenting, work, and relationships more enjoyable. Your positivity is contagious.
How Sleep Apnea Is Addressed
When it comes to addressing sleep apnea, various treatment options are available, tailored to the specific cause and severity of your condition. We strive to find a solution that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences.
At Caldwell Dental Care, we offer personalized sleep apnea treatments to improve your sleep quality and overall well-being. Our goal is to find the most suitable solution for you, ensuring a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
For mild cases of sleep apnea, effective home-based treatments are accessible. Your dentist may recommend measures such as weight management, abstaining from alcohol and sleeping aids, altering sleep positions, adhering to sleep hygiene practices, and quitting smoking. These recommendations are not only safe but also often complement other treatment approaches.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP therapy stands as the prevailing treatment for sleep apnea. You might already be familiar with CPAP machines. These devices involve wearing a mask over your nose and/or mouth while sleeping, connected to a machine that delivers a continuous and controlled flow of air. This airflow helps keep your airways open, allowing for normal breathing. There are various mask and machine options available, tailored to your specific needs and comfort preferences.
Several mouth-worn appliances are designed to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. They typically resemble mouthguards in appearance and sensation. The choice of appliance depends on the underlying causes of your sleep apnea symptoms. These devices may reduce snoring, reposition the jaw to maintain an open airway, or stabilize the tongue.
Surgical Interventions and Medication
In some cases, surgery or medication may be recommended to address the root causes of sleep apnea. Common surgical procedures include correcting a deviated septum in the nose, addressing narrow throat or airway issues, or making adjustments to the jaw area to alleviate throat obstructions.
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to schedule an initial consultation & exam.
Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sleep apnea can have diverse underlying factors. Among adults, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the prevalent type, with excess weight and obesity being the leading contributing factor. Identifying the specific type of sleep apnea and its root cause requires a professional evaluation.
Sleep apnea symptoms can be described as the inability to achieve restful sleep, resulting in various adverse effects. Individuals with sleep apnea may exhibit frequent or loud snoring, intermittent pauses in breathing during sleep, awakenings with choking or gasping sensations, nighttime restroom visits, and a general sense of dissatisfaction with their sleep quality. In the daytime, they may experience headaches, concentration difficulties, irritability, memory lapses, mental fog, and a potential decrease in sexual desire.
Your likelihood of experiencing sleep apnea may be elevated if you have excess weight, are male, possess a family history of sleep apnea or sleep disturbances, consume alcohol or sleeping aids, smoke, or contend with nasal congestion. Furthermore, sleep apnea tends to be more prevalent among older adults.
In cases of sleep apnea, when oxygen deprivation occurs, your brain detects the breathing difficulty and briefly awakens you during sleep to enable airway opening. These awakenings can be extremely fleeting, often forgotten by the following day. It’s possible to experience such brief awakenings 30 times or more each night, with no recollection, resulting in morning grogginess.
Although the majority of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea are overweight, it’s important to note that sleep apnea can have various causes, and even thin individuals can develop this condition.
Studies indicate that adopting a lateral sleeping position, commonly known as sleeping on your side, is the most effective sleeping posture for alleviating sleep apnea and reducing snoring.