October 12, 2016
You know you snore. Your spouse and even your kids have told you about that persistently loud noise. It disrupts their nightly rest. Did you know that it may disrupting your sleep and your systemic health, too? Find out if you suffer from a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Powell dentists, Dr. Ryan N. Eskridge and Dr. Norman Straker, evaluate patients for this sleep disorder as part of six-month dental check-ups. They have sensible solutions for your snoring.
What is Sleep Apnea?
More than occasional snoring, sleep apnea is a serious health issue affecting more than 18 million adult Americans, says the National Sleep Foundation. While all sorts of people suffer from sleep apnea, most are adult males over the age of 40. Many of these people are smokers, use too much alcohol or are simply overweight. Sleep apnea runs in families, too. Left untreated, sleep apnea sets the stage for harmful health conditions such as heart disease, depression, memory and concentration problems, headaches, mood swings, hypertension and Type-2 diabetes.
There are three kinds of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, Central Sleep Apnea, or CSA and Mixed Sleep Apnea. OSA occurs when the soft tissues at the back of the throat relax and cover the airway. Oxygen deprivation results. CSA occurs when the brain does not tell the lungs to take a breath. The mixed variety is a combination of the two other kinds.
Besides snoring, sleep apnea sufferers wake several times a night, gasping for air. They may not even be aware that his is occurring, but specially trained sleep physicians perform monitored sleep studies which can reveal apnea and other sleep-related disorders. If you are snoring, speak to your primary care physician about it.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
There are some common sense interventions for sleep apnea, including:
- Lose weight
- Sleep on one side rather than on the back
- Elevate the head at night
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, machines are a common treatment for more serious sleep apnea. Patients wear special facial masks at night. Through the masks, they receive a continuous stream of oxygen which forces their airways open. Many people find CPAP therapy difficult, however, because of the noise of the machine or because the mask makes them feel claustrophobic.
Mild to moderate sleep apnea often responds well to oral appliance therapy. This is where a consultation with the dental staff at Wedgewood Complete Dentistry comes in.
Oral Appliance Therapy
It’s really very simple. Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea wear acrylic oral appliances custom-made to fit comfortably inside the mouth. Worn nightly, the oral appliance gently repositions the lower jaw into a more forward position, forcing the airway open.
Get Healthier, More Restful Sleep
Contact Wedgewood Complete Dentistry in Powell to discuss your snoring and insomnia. The dentists and their caring staff are dedicated to your oral health and overall well-being, too. They’ll get to the bottom of your sleep disorder.
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