Centerville, OH residents discover solutions or treatment for sleep apnea
Snoring, restless sleep, and feeling tired are symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects over 22 million Americans. Thankfully, there are solutions for sleep apnea to help you get a better night’s sleep. For patients in Centerville, OH and the surrounding areas, K&E Advanced Dentistry offers oral appliances for sleep apnea treatment.
Snoring is the sound heard when air cannot move freely as you breathe during sleep. When the air cannot move properly, the surrounding tissues vibrate, creating the rumbling, snorting sounds of snoring. Snoring is common occasionally, especially due to colds or environmental issues. However, chronic snoring may be a sign of a larger issue. Regular snoring may be due to excess or floppy nasal or throat tissue. It may also be a sign of a health condition such as sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
In its most common form, obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage in the upper airway when an individual is sleeping. Patients with sleep apnea have pauses or breaks in breathing while they are asleep. These breaks last more than 10 seconds and can occur multiple times each hour. Obstructive sleep apnea ranges from mild to severe, based upon the number of breathing pauses per hour. Due to the pauses, the patient does not get enough oxygen. The body must work harder to get air into the lungs. The brain senses the problem and sends adrenaline to trigger breathing. This causes snorting, choking, or snoring sounds once they begin to breathe once more. This cycle repeats over and over, often numerous times each hour. Sleep apnea and snoring are not the same. Snoring may be symptom of sleep apnea but snoring itself does not automatically mean this condition is present. Sleep apnea patients are often tired and do not feel rested due to their fitful nights of sleep.
Causes of sleep apnea
Although this condition is more commonly found in adults, sleep apnea can affect children and patients of all ages. Obstructive sleep apnea is the result of a blockage in the airway at the back of the throat, usually from the soft tissue collapsing during sleep. Risk factors for sleep apnea include the following:
- Large neck size
- Large tongue or tonsils
- Small jaw
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Nasal obstruction
- Family history of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea treatment
If you have symptoms of sleep apnea including snoring, daytime tiredness, dry mouth, morning headaches, or insomnia, it is important to have your condition properly diagnosed by a physician. A sleep study is used to determine the severity of your sleep apnea. For patients with sleep apnea, there are several treatments or therapies available. The treatment used depends upon the severity of the condition. Many doctors recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. A CPAP machine uses a mask and forced air pressure to keep the airway open helping the patient breathe while sleeping. The continuous air pressure prevents the airway from collapsing while breathing. CPA machines have different mask options including a mask that fits over the nose and mouth, a nose only mask, or prongs that fit into the nose. While a CPAP machine is often an effective treatment for patients, it is bulky.
K&E Advanced Dentistry offers oral appliances as alternatives to CPAP machines for sleep apnea treatment. Custom-created for each patient, oral appliances can effectively treat sleep apnea and other oral issues. With a design similar to a mouth guard, the appliance is a comfortable alternative. The oral appliance pushes the jaw slightly forward and tongue down to keep the airway open. It is worn while sleeping to help patients breathe more freely. This therapy is appropriate for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Advantages of oral appliances include the following:
- Patient comfort
- No bulky machine
- No mask
- Easy to care for
If you suffer from symptoms of sleep apnea, contact our office to learn more about oral appliance therapy as an alternative to, or to be used in conjunction with, a CPAP machine. Start sleeping better today.Back to Sleep Apnea and Snoring Page