All You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea

All You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea

Posted by PS Dental on Oct 20 2020, 03:43 AM

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.

What are the types of sleep apnea?

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.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

  • Loud snoring
  • Bruxism (Grinding or clenching of one's teeth during sleep)
  • Frequent interruptions in the sleep, which doesn't allow the patient to enter the deeper stages of sleep
  • Persistent headache, especially soon after waking up
  • Low tolerance levels
  • Tiredness and loss of sex drive
  • Choking and gasping for breath while sleeping
  • In extreme cases, insomnia and severe ADHD
  • Increased chances of heart attack and stroke

Sleep apnea test

These are some of the possible indications of sleep apnea:

  • Frequent pauses in your breathing pattern while you sleep. Usually, your bedmate would be able to notice this. It could be combined with loud snoring.
  • Experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness due to loss of sleep at night
  • The size of your neck turns abnormally large
  • Experiencing early morning headaches quite frequently
  • Having a hard time to concentrate
  • Experiencing drastic changes in mood and low tolerance levels
  • Being overweight, by at least 15 to 20 pounds

How do you overcome 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.

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