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Sleep Apnea & Sleep Dentistry
Sleep apnea occurs because there is soft tissue that is in the back of the of the throat and causes a person to snore loudly because the throat is relaxed during sleep. It’s a passageway that is connected to the central nervous system and causes the brain to fail because the signal to the brain that controls the breathing fails. Sleep apnea is a greater risk to someone due to age and obesity. While it’s more common in men, it can happen to women as well. As a condition that can last up to a lifetime, sleep apnea needs to be treated appropriately. While there are a few treatments for it, weight loss and breathing assistance during the night are the top two.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a clinically recognized problem. If you’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnea – like some 25 million other adults in the United States – you may find sleep restless, stressful, or painful. Sleep apnea sufferers endure oxygen restrictions while they sleep due to the pauses in their breathing cycle. These pauses are caused by the throat and oral relaxation and constrictions. If you’re experiencing sensations of choking, snoring, gasping, or suffocation-like symptoms, you likely have sleep apnea. We recommend that you take the time to visit a doctor to receive a complete diagnosis.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Sleep apnea can be a serious health hazard, but it is treatable. Sleep apnea is an issue that if not treated can cause you serious issues. If you don’t treat sleep apnea, then you could have either life shortening consequences such as high blood pressure and heart disease or serious consequences like narcolepsy, depression, and diabetes. By opting not to visit a doctor, you could be causing you and others around you harm. Sleeping is very important because it allows the body to rest and be rejuvenated. If you don’t take the time to treat your sleep apnea, then you could be looking at issues that will cause problems in your life if they aren’t treated such as heart attacks and strokes. If you’re aware of your sleep apnea problem, you may want to consider therapy. There are various treatment types available:
- CPAP therapy: CPAP therapy involves a specialized facemask that’s connected to a machine. The machine maintains regular breathing patterns, ensuring your safety during sleep.
- Oral appliance therapy: Certain candidates may be able to use a device (an oral appliance) that looks like a mouth guard. This device keeps the jaw well-positioned during sleep, allowing air passageways to remain open.
- Surgical therapy: This is more of a last-resort option, as procedures are invasive, and the rate of success may vary.
One of the services we offer at our dental office is sleep apnea treatment. While it may not seem like an oral health issue, it is in fact. At our dental office in Austin, we strive to offer as many services as possible to provide you comfort. If you’re affected by sleep apnea, give your local dentist a call here at Lifetime Smiles. We’ll give you input on the best solution for your needs.