Sleep Apnea Overview
Most of us agree that snoring can be something amusing to witness, but if it relates to the condition of sleep apnea, it is no laughing matter. It is a condition in which your breathing experiences abnormally long pauses during sleep, sometimes as much as one or more minutes, and it can happen many times per hour. Interestingly enough, at Authentic Smiles in Austin, TX, we can help patients struggling with this harmful condition.
How can a dentist in Austin, TX help someone with sleep apnea? It is due to the type of apnea someone experiences. There are two forms – OSA and CSA. In OSA or obstructive sleep apnea, your airway is blocked by the soft tissue at the back of your throat. This is the most common form of sleep apnea, as opposed to CSA that is linked to a lack of respiratory effort and is neurological in nature.
Because the soft tissue in the airway is something that can be addressed with dental appliances and treatments, a qualified dental team can offer effective remedies to help you overcome sleep apnea. Naturally, you must be first diagnosed with the condition, and this takes more than a spouse or partner noticing that you snore loudly. You will have to undergo an official sleep study that gauges how many times you suffer apnea each hour of the night.
While many of us think it is simply snoring and that we’ll wake ourselves up a bit when we have stopped breathing properly, consider the other symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Constant fatigue
- Low performance at work or everyday tasks
- Lack of attention
- Trouble with memory
- Feelings of depression
These are only the immediate signs that your nighttime snoring and snorting awake is more than just a noisy bother, and the long-term consequences can include increased risk for stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and more. The stresses that it causes to the body, if left untreated, can prove fatal.
When you consult with us about your condition, we will ensure you have a formal sleep study. We then combine the outcome of the study with your other symptoms and work to find the best remedy. There are several options. Though one of the more common is the use of a special machine called the CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine, we have seen patients succeed with the far more comfortable mandibular advancement devices. These are like retainers or mouth guards that realign your jaw, preventing you from experiencing sleep apnea. If you have mild to moderate OSA, this may be the perfect remedy.