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Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment

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Sleep is crucial if you want to protect your mental, physical, and emotional health. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep on a regular basis can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight, avoid stress, have the energy you need to exercise, and more.

Many people aren’t getting the rest they need because they have undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea. This condition can take a toll on your health, leave you feeling exhausted even after a full nights sleep, and, in some cases, it can be life-threatening.

Fortunately, sleep apnea is treatable, and often, the best treatment available is at your dentist’s office. Keep reading to get your questions answered and learn more about sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

sleep apnea applianceSleep apnea is a condition that causes a patient to temporarily stop breathing while they are asleep. Some people with sleep apnea stop breathing hundreds of times a night. When this happens, your body often moves from a deeper sleep stage to a light sleep stage. As a result you don’t get the rest you need to stay healthy and energetic. Types of sleep apnea include central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing, obstructive sleep apnea is caused by something blocking the airway, and mixed sleep apnea occurs when a patient has both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

There are various types of sleep apnea, but the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea stop breathing during the night because something is blocking their airway. The airway often becomes blocked when throat muscles relax.

Who is at risk for sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, but some people are more at risk than others.

People who may have a higher risk of sleep apnea include:

  • People over 40
  • People who have type 2 diabetes
  • People who are overweight
  • Men
  • People who smoke
  • People who have frequent nasal congestion
  • People with a family history of sleep apnea

What causes sleep apnea?

In most cases, a mechanical issue inside the mouth causes sleep apnea. Sometimes the tongue falls back against the soft palate and the soft palate falls back against the throat to obstruct the airway.

What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?

Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty staying awake while driving
  • Irritability
  • Trouble focusing
  • Weight gain
  • Extreme daytime sleepiness
  • Headaches in the mornings
  • Having a very sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up to a gasping or choking sensation

What does sleep apnea do to your body?

Sleep apnea makes everyday life more difficult by leaving you exhausted, which makes it difficult to drive safely, concentrate at work, exercise, and more.

It is also connected to more serious long-term health problems such as depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes.

How is sleep apnea treated?

While sleep apnea can be incredibly dangerous to your health, it is often quite simple to treat. Sometimes having your tonsils removed or changing your sleeping position can help alleviate the problem. More severe cases of sleep apnea may be treated with a CPAP machine.

For mild and moderate cases, a custom oral appliance may be the best solution.

Parkway Dental offers custom-made oral appliances as sleep apnea treatment that will keep your airway open while you sleep. These are designed on an individual basis so they’ll correctly and comfortably fit inside your mouth. Wearing the oral appliance while you sleep can prevent your airway from collapsing and ensure you get a good night’s rest.

What should you do if you think you have sleep apnea?

If you think you may have sleep apnea you should seek treatment right away before your overall health suffers. Schedule a consultation at Parkway Dental and ask for a diagnosis.

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