Do you snore? Does your partner?
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Don’t let snoring ruin your relationship—or a good night’s sleep!
Do you wake up feeling tired, no matter how long you’ve been asleep?
Are you having trouble focusing or remembering?
Do you doze off even in the middle of tasks, such as driving?
If you have any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from a potentially life-threatening condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where your airway closes at night, cutting off your air supply. This forces you to wake up to resume breathing, which prevents your body and mind from getting the rest it needs.
If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, or you have been diagnosed and are not wearing a C-Pap machine at night, you need treatment. At Krantz Dental Care, we can help you determine whether you have sleep apnea and get treatment for this serious condition. To learn more, please call or email us today.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is when your air supply gets cut off during sleep. In obstructive sleep apnea, this occurs when the tissues of your airway collapse, closing your airway. You are literally being strangled by your own tissues.
To reopen your airway, your brain must partially awaken. Even though you are not aware of waking up, you may awaken hundreds of times a night. As a result, you are never able to enter or stay in the deeper levels of sleep necessary to rejuvenate your body and mind.
Dangers of Sleep Apnea
- Heart attack
- Muscle pain
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Inefficient metabolism
- Loss of short term memory
- Weight gain
- Gastric reflux
- High blood pressure
- Severe anxiety
- Memory and concentration impairment
- Intellectual deterioration
- Mood swings/temperamental behavior
Many of these effects stem from the cardiovascular effects caused when your body senses it has a deficient oxygen supply. When deficient in oxygen, your body triggers your heart to work harder to increase the blood supply. This raises your blood pressure and stresses your heart. According to some studies, untreated sleep apnea may make you six times more likely to suffer death than from any cause.
Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea
The first step in overcoming sleep apnea is determining whether you actually suffer from the condition. If you have symptoms like snoring, daytime sleepiness, and others mentioned above, you should take a sleep test to determine whether you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be diagnosed either at a sleep center or with an at-home sleep test.
Once diagnosed, sleep apnea is highly treatable. Many doctors recommend CPAP as a first-line treatment. CPAP uses a pump to force air into your nose and throat. It can be highly effective, but the majority of users find compliance with CPAP difficult due to its noise and discomfort. For mild to moderate sleep apnea, we often recommend that people try oral appliance therapy first. It is very effective and much easier to manage.
Oral appliance therapy means you put in a mouthpiece before going to sleep at night. This mouthpiece holds your jaw in an appropriate position for keeping your airway open. Oral appliances are comfortable, convenient, and effective for many patients.
Medication, surgery, and lifestyle changes are also treatment options that can be used in conjunction with either CPAP or oral appliance therapy, but rarely is surgery used.
To learn more about sleep apnea and how we can help you, please give us a call or click here to schedule a consultation today.
Dr. Krantz is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.