Sleep Apnea – How Your Dentist Can Help

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night gasping for air? If so, you may suffer from sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder among Americans. Some research indicates that there are more than 20 million Americans currently dealing with this disorder.

Though it’s common, it’s not something to be taken lightly. Not getting enough sleep can affect your everyday life greatly which can lead to you getting injured during even the easiest tasks. Luckily, there’s a dental treatment for sleep apnea that can help you sleep like a baby. If you’d like to find out more, read on.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

People who suffer from sleep apnea stop breathing for a couple of seconds during sleep which may lead to snoring and feeling as if they’re choking. Most of the time this cessation of breath will wake them up, resulting in sleepless nights. Though not getting enough sleep is a quite serious issue on its own, it’s not the only danger.

These pauses in breathing result in less oxygen coming into the brain which when happens consistently may put a strain on other organs such as the heart and lungs. This is why it’s imperative to get the best sleep apnea treatment in Scottsdale if you’re near that area, to quickly deal with the issue. The best dental specialists will help you make this sleep disorder a thing of the past.

Two Types Of Sleep Apnea

There are two types of sleep apnea; OSA (Obstructed Sleep Apnea) and CSA (Central Sleep Apnea. OSA is the more common type. It is characterized by a part of your mouth cavity collapsing while breathing in your sleep. For example, your tongue can fall into your throat stopping airflow, our your septum may be the one obstructing it. This type of sleep apnea can be treated by dental sleep specialists.

On the other hand, CSA is a more complex disorder stemming from neurological issues in which the brain stops sending your body the signal to breathe. In order to figure out which one you’re dealing with, you should get a proper diagnosis through a sleep study and other relevant diagnosing methods.

How Does Sleep Apnea Impact Health?

Sleep apnea is linked to an increased risk of a variety of long-term health issues affecting both mental and physical health. Some research indicates that people who experience this type of sleep disorder are almost two times more likely to have a high blood pressure than those without the condition. As a result, they are also more likely to suffer from heart disease and mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, and mania.

If left untreated, it may lead to chronic fatigue, which in turn increases the risk of injury while at work and driving. The consequences of these events may be severe and even lethal.

Dentists Can Help You Treat Sleep Apnea

Oral appliances have been developed by dental sleep medicine professionals as a novel treatment for sleep apnea. An oral appliance is a carefully designed piece of plastic you place in your mouth before going to bed, similar to a sleep apnea mouthguard or retainer.

There are no worries about the appliance not fitting correctly since it is custom-made for each patient’s mouth. Mandibular repositioning devices and tongue retaining devices are two of the most common kinds of oral appliances on the market today. Your dentist will tell you what kind of filling you require based on the intricacies of your problem.

Mandibular Repositioning Oral Appliance

In order to keep your lungs constantly working while you sleep, a mandibular repositioning oral appliance works by pushing your lower jaw forward. In the area of dental sleep medicine, they are the most popular method of treatment.

Tongue Retaining Oral Appliance

Tongue retaining oral appliance is perfect for those whose tongue is obstructing their airway and making it difficult to breathe. Holding your tongue stationary as you sleep won’t be an issue any more thanks to this device.

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