Sleep apnea is a condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. This can happen hundreds of times throughout the night, interrupting the sleep cycle and making it difficult to get restful sleep. The condition has been linked to various severe health issues, including depression, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring followed by periods of silence as the patient stops breathing for several seconds. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, forgetful spells, irritability and anxiety, trouble concentrating, and depression. At Lakeview Dental Clinic, the best way to diagnose sleep apnea is through an overnight sleep study where oxygen levels, heart rates, and other factors can be measured to determine the severity of the condition. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking, can help control mild cases of sleep apnea. More severe cases may be treated with continuous positive airway pressure devices known as CPAP machines, oral appliances that help keep airways open, surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids, and other approaches.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a severe condition when the soft tissues in your throat collapse while you sleep, blocking your airways and preventing you from breathing normally. Several factors, including the anatomy of your mouth and throat and certain lifestyle habits and medical conditions, can cause this condition.
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist may recommend one of several treatment options to treat your condition and help you enjoy a healthier night of sleep. Depending on the root cause of your sleep apnea, your doctor will determine which treatment option is most appropriate for you. Surgery may be recommended as a last resort to replace your damaged tissue with healthy new tissue or remove excess tissue blocking your airflow.
The most common sleep apnea treatment is a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine. This equipment decreases the obstruction of the airways and helps you breathe more efficiently throughout the night. While it may not be the most comfortable sleeping aid, it is undoubtedly one of the most effective. However, some people find the mask uncomfortable to wear every night. In those cases, an oral appliance is recommended. This device is designed to hold the jaw forward, preventing the tongue from blocking the airway. Oral appliances are much more comfortable and convenient for those with sleep apnea. They are custom-made to fit your mouth’s shape for ultimate comfort. They are also easily portable, making them ideal for traveling.
To learn more about the benefits of sleep apnea treatment, visit Lakeview Dental Clinic at 801 Milwaukee Dr., Coeur D'Alene, ID 83814, or call (208) 664-0884.