Posted on 5/20/2019 by Cole Anderson, DMD, MS
|Many have heard of sleep apnea. They may know that it has something to do with breathing and sleeping and that it is a condition that many people suffer from without realizing it. That is often the extent of what people know about it. They do not realize there are different types of sleep apnea and different causes. They are not aware that there is help for people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
Even people who know about the treatment for sleep apnea, may not think very highly of it. They picture having to sleep with some machine strapped to their face and do not want to learn any more. Taking a little time to understand what obstructive sleep apnea is and how we can help treat it could make it possible for more people to get help.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where people stop breathing for short periods of time while they sleep. It is a dangerous condition because it can deprive the body of the oxygen it needs to function. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. It occurs when the muscles in the throat relax while sleeping and end up blocking the airway. This can last a few seconds or longer. It can lead to symptoms such as snoring, headaches and much more. It is important to have sleep apnea diagnosed and to develop a plan of treatment before the problems get worse.
How We Treat It
The ways to treat obstructive sleep apnea depends on the reasons behind it. Excessive weight is one of the causes and the solution is to lose the weight. Smoking and alcohol consumption can also lead to obstructive sleep apnea and the solution involves cutting back on these habits.
When lifestyle changes do not help resolve the problem, there are other ways to treat it. While some people turn to a CPAP machine to induce positive air pressure while they sleep, there is another option we can offer that does not require a big machine that you have to plug in before you sleep. Oral appliances and mouthguards can help adjust the position of the mouth, jaw and head while you sleep. They can stop the muscles from relaxing and blocking the airway. They are small, portable and only require that you use them.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for help with this or any other oral health issue you have.