Have you ever experienced frequent pauses in breathing while you're sleeping? Or perhaps, waking up in the middle of sleep gasping for air due to the inability to breathe? If so, you could be experiencing sleep apnea - a sleep disorder that drastically impacts the quality of your sleep. The condition usually goes unnoticed or gets ignored, as it may not seem like a serious oral concern. But, if ignored, it can lead to symptoms that affect your everyday life significantly.
Obstructive sleep apnea: It is the more widely experienced type of sleep apnea and occurs when the tissues in the throat collapse and block the respiratory tract during sleep.
Central sleep apnea: It is a condition where the brain fails to perform its function and doesn't signal the muscles to draw in the air on time. The level of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood isn't monitored by the brain properly, due to which there would be uneven breathing.
Mixed sleep apnea: As the name suggests, it is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
These are some of the possible indications of sleep apnea:
A multitude of conditions causes sleep apnea. Some of the possible ways to overcome sleep apnea are reducing weight, avoiding alcohol consumption and smoking, changing sleeping positions and diet plans, etc.
Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for sleep apnea. A custom-fabricated mandibular advancement device (MAD) can be used for mild cases of sleep apnea. It is a mouthguard-like oral appliance that helps to widen the airway's opening by bringing the mandible forward.
Further, patients can use a sleep apnea device called the CPAP as per the dentist's recommendation. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It includes a mask that has to be worn on the mouth and nose. The mask is connected to a continuous supply of oxygen through a pressurized cylinder. The setup helps your airway stay open continuously, thereby preventing it from getting blocked due to the collapsing tissues.
Please do reach out to us on-call (503) 574-4000 or by scheduling an online consultation with our dental professionals, and we'll be glad to assist you further.