The Types of Sleep Apnea
While many patients sleep well and recharge as they should. A number of people experience shallow breathing or pauses (apneas) that can interfere with their ability to get a full night's sleep. These apneas can occur due to a physical blockage of airflow, a lack of respiratory effort, or both.
The 3 different types of sleep apneas that commonly affect patients are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Central sleep apnea
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome (both sleep apnea and central sleep apnea)
The Causes of Sleep Apnea
When you fall into what should be a deep sleep, your throat tissues, soft palate and tongue relax. when someone experiences sleep apnea, these tissues can relax more than they should causing them to settle into the airway effectively blocking their airflow.
When your brain acknowledges this blocked airway it will remain conscious in order to actively ensure breathing. These episodes may happen hundreds of times a night, seriously disrupting your sleep.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Symptoms of sleep apnea include heavy snoring, headaches and migraines upon waking, restless sleep, excessive daytime fatigue, problems focusing, irritability, depression and TMJ symptoms.
Everyone knows someone who snores, and even though snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea not every person that experiences sleep apnea will snore. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit a medical professional so you can receive a proper diagnosis.
Once your issue has been diagnosed by a medical professional, your dentists can help you get a better night’s rest with a number of treatment options. We will complete a full examination of your teeth, tongue, airway and jaw, and potentially take an x-ray of your airway, to determine the right appliance for your needs.
Dental appliances For Sleep Apnea Treatment
Dental appliances are created to help move your jaw back into the correct position allowing your airway to open and breathing to continue as it should. Some of the benefits of dental appliances also include:
- Easy to care for
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to insert and remove
- Quiet and not disruptive to any bed partners (unlike some sleep apnea machines)
- Convenient for travel
The Longterm Effects of Sleep Apnea
If you have sleep apnea, you will be unable to fall into a deep, restorative sleep that recharges your brain and body. This can play a role in many medical disorders and diseases, and reduce your life’s quality and longevity.
Complications can include a wide range of conditions from metabolic syndrome and high blood sugar, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. You may also experience heart problems, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes and resistance to insulin. Because of your daytime fatigue, you may be at an increased risk of workplace or motor vehicle accidents.
By treating sleep apnea, your dentist can help you improve and protect your overall health and well-being.