What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and can occur multiple times throughout the night. As a result, people with sleep apnea often wake up feeling tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate.
In addition to these symptoms, sleep apnea has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you suspect you have sleep apnea.
What causes sleep apnea?
There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common type and is caused by a blockage of the airway during sleep, usually due to relaxed throat muscles or excess tissue in the throat.
Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, is caused by a problem with the brain’s ability to control breathing during sleep. This type of sleep apnea is less common and often occurs as a result of underlying health conditions like heart failure or stroke.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The symptoms of sleep apnea can vary from person to person but may include:
- Loud snoring
- Pauses in breathing during sleep
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- Irritability or mood swings
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak with your dentist or doctor to determine if you have sleep apnea.
How is sleep apnea treated?
There are a number of different treatments available for sleep apnea, depending on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. Some common treatments include:
Lifestyle changes: In some cases, making lifestyle changes like losing weight, quitting smoking, or avoiding alcohol and sedatives can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Oral appliances: Oral appliances are custom-made devices that fit over the teeth and help keep the airway open during sleep.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy: CPAP therapy involves wearing a mask over the nose and/or mouth during sleep that delivers a continuous flow of air to keep the airway open.
At 4th Avenue Dental, we offer custom oral appliances designed specifically to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Our team of experienced dental professionals will work closely with you to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs and help you get a better night’s sleep.
If you think you may have sleep apnea or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal health and well-being through personalized, high-quality dental care.