Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. The risk of a heart attack 23 times more likely for an individual who has a sleep disorder, and 92% of stroke victims live unknowingly with sleep apnea before having a stroke. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when throat muscles relax, your airway narrows or close as you breathe in. You can’t get enough air, which can lower the oxygen level in your blood. Your brain senses your inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen the airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don’t remember it.
This pattern can repeat itself 5 to 30 minutes or more each hour, all night long, impairing your ability to reach the deep, rested phases of sleep. The dentists near you at Sunridge Dental Clinic can serve a vital role in treating this silent epidemic. That can contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and traffic accidents related to drowsy driving.
Treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may involve surgery, CPAP or BiPAP machines, or oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances provide the least invasive option and good for the treatment of mild to moderate OSA. An appliance is made to position the jaw in a correct position to allow the airway to stay open while you sleep. Treatment recommendations should be made in conjunction with your sleep physician.