Some people experience difficulty with their breathing during sleep. This disorder is known as sleep apnea. In mild cases, it can manifest itself as excessive snoring that wakes the individual up, but in serious cases it can lead to interrupted breathing during sleep. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated, and My Dentist Friend can help relieve you of your sleep apnea symptoms.
How Can I Tell if I Have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is diagnosed as either Obstructive Sleep Apnea - OSA for short - or central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles malfunction, causing them to relax while the individual is sleeping. This results in difficulty in breathing. Central sleep apnea has similar symptoms, but the difference with central sleep apnea is that the throat muscle dysfunction is caused by incorrect neuron signaling from the brain. Aside from the two types, there are symptoms that can be used to identify and diagnose sleep apnea. Excessive and loud snoring is one of the more common symptoms, which a patient may be made aware of through a partner complaining of the snoring, or of their own waking up from the snoring. There are also the daytime symptoms, which are as a result of disturbed sleep due to the condition. There can be headaches felt during the daytime, excessive fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Constant waking up during the night is also a symptom. If any of these symptoms occur, you should contact our office.
How Can Sleep Apnea Be Treated?
Our oral surgery office treats sleep apnea because it can be resolved via oral appliances. One of the most popular treatments for sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy, which uses an oral appliance to push the lower jaw in front of the upper jaw. This opens the airways and relieves the throat muscles from their dysfunction, allowing for a full night’s sleep. This is a relatively non-invasive treatment, as the appliance is small and easy to use. The oral appliances are custom-made, therefore fitting comfortably within the oral cavity.
Another form of treatment is Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure, CPAP, that uses a machine to constantly place air pressure on the patient’s airways. This prevents the throat muscles from obstructing the airways, and means the patient can be relieved of their symptoms. The machine requires a face mask, which is attached to a tube. This means that it may take some time to get used to a CPAP machine as it can be loud and bulky.
Other forms of treatment are done by specialists or an orthodontist, as sleep apnea can be caused by the tonsils or resting position of the jaw. Our oral surgeons will be able to diagnose this and refer you to the appropriate medical professional.
My Dentist Friend takes sleep apnea seriously. Whether the symptoms are mild or severe, you should book an appointment with our team. Untreated sleep apnea can have life-threatening consequences, including heart attacks and strokes. Contact our office at 856-484-4114 to book your appointment with one of our oral surgeons.