Sleep Apnea Treatment from Your Lititz Dentist
If you wake up feeling unrested or keep the whole house up snoring every night, you may be suffering from sleep apnea, the cessation of breath for ten or more seconds during sleep. Millions of US adults are diagnosed with sleep apnea every year, and an estimated 80% of sleep apnea sufferers are undiagnosed. It’s essential that patients who may be suffering from sleep apnea seek treatment right away. When diagnosed and treated in the early stages, the adverse effects of sleep apnea are fairly simple to reverse, but the longer patients suffer from this sleep disorder, the more they struggle to restore mental and physical health following treatment.
Central and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain does not signal the body to inhale at regular intervals during sleep, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when a patient’s airway is physically blocked. Both forms of sleep apnea are potentially dangerous, but the less common CSA leads to serious repercussions such as brain damage due to lack of oxygen, elevated blood pressure, and even heart attack. OSA is the more common of the two, and left untreated for an extended period of time leads to the same health risks associated with CSA. It’s essential that patients know the warning signs of sleep apnea, and seek assistance in diagnosing and treating this sleep disorder as quickly as possible.
Sleep Apnea Causes and Symptoms
While it is unknown what the specific causes of CSA may be, this disorder is neurological, and may result as a side effect of some medications, due to traumatic injury, and other issues that adversely affect the brain. OSA on the other hand is caused by the physical obstruction of the airway. This happens due to the natural structure of the throat and neck creating blockage, excess fat or muscle in the neck, swollen tonsils or lymph nodes, and other anatomical obstructions. In many cases, sleep apnea is undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to the wide variety of symptoms. Some of the common warning signs to be aware of include:
- Loud, consistent snoring
- Wheezing, coughing, or gasping throughout the night or upon waking
- Dry mouth
- Morning headaches or earaches
- Excessive sleepiness throughout the day
- Inability to concentrate
- Depression, irritability, and mood swings
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
In order to treat sleep apnea, patients use an oral appliance, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system, or a combination of the two. At Mor Smiles, we craft custom nightguards to relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea, and help patients rest peacefully through the night. These oral appliances are worn during sleep, and shift patients’ jaws forward keeping the throat clear. There are many different types of nightguards available, and we work with patients to select the best option for their specific needs. Many patients prefer an oral appliance to CPAP because it is compact, comfortable, and convenient for travel. CPAP systems require more upkeep, and can be cumbersome especially when travelling by plane.
How can Mor Smiles Help?
If you’ve experienced any of the warning signs of sleep apnea or have recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, contact Mor Smiles right away. Our friendly team is happy to schedule a consultation to help you determine whether or not you should schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist for further evaluation.