By now, you might have heard something about sleep apnea from a friend or the media. This common sleep disorder was not as well-known as it is now. Fortunately, research and advancements in diagnostic technology have made treating this disorder easier and more cost-effective for patients.
There are a few different treatment options available that include surgical and non-invasive therapies. Our dentist offers non-invasive treatment in the form of oral appliance therapy. This treatment option does not require machinery or invasive procedures to produce results for many people with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where a person suffers from short periods of breathing cessation caused by airway obstruction during rest. As one stops breathing, the body will send signals to slightly wake a person so that proper breathing is resumed. The cycle of breathing cessation and wakefulness can occur hundreds of times in a person’s full sleep cycle.
The underlying cause of airway obstruction could be due to jaw misalignment and occlusal problems along with developmental or congenital abnormalities. When a sleeper with these issues goes to rest, oral tissue will relax and block the airway.
How will sleep apnea affect me?
There is an array of ways that sleep apnea could affect you. Since sleep apnea causes sleep deprivation by preventing a person from progressing through each stage of sleep naturally, people can suffer from a host of side effects related to sleep deprivation. Common side effects of sleep deprivation include memory loss, irritability, and malaise. In addition to the far-reaching effects of sleep deprivation, there is a wealth of research that suggests the erratic heart rates and respiratory rates of sleep apnea sufferers can weaken the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.
How does oral appliance therapy work?
We provide sleep apnea treatment through oral appliance therapy. This involves patients wearing custom made, mouthguard like appliances while sleeping. These appliances slightly position the lower mandible (jaw) forward to widen the diameter of the airway. Widening the airway can prevent episodes of apnea. Other treatment options involve using respiratory machinery such as CPAP therapy or surgical treatment to correct occlusal problems or excessive oral tissue development.
Call us today to reserve a sleep apnea treatment consultation with our dentist.