What Is Sleep Apnea?
Our experts here at Premier Dental are prepared with solutions for your sleep apnea problem. This sleep disorder is characterized by brief and repeated breathing interruptions during sleep. The disorder occurs in situations whereby the back muscles of the throat cannot keep open the airway, causing a type of sleep apnea called obstructive sleep apnea. The other type of sleep apnea known as the central sleep apnea is caused by the failure of the brain to control breathing properly during sleep. However, obstructive sleep apnea is the more common of the two types of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can lead to fragmented sleep, as well as low levels of blood oxygen. If you are experiencing sleep apnea, there are chances that the combination of oxygen starvation and disturbed sleep can lead to heart disease, memory and mood problems, and hypertension. The risk of drowsy driving is high if you have sleep apnea.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
Some factors can cause you to develop sleep apnea. You have a high chance of developing sleep apnea if your upper airway is small or if to have a large tongue, uvula or tonsils. Being overweight also increases the risk of developing sleep apnea. A recessed chin, large overbite, and small airway also increase the risk of developing this condition. If your neck is on the larger side, which is described as equal to or greater than 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women, you are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea.
Alcohol use and smoking are also common risk factors for sleep apnea. Smoking increases fluid retention and inflammation in the upper airway. Tranquilizers or sedatives can also increase the chance of developing sleep apnea.
It is difficult to differentiate between the symptoms and signs of obstructive and central sleep apnea as they often overlap. Waking up with a dry mouth, morning headache, gasping for air, or daytime sleepiness can be some of the signs that you need to go for sleep apnea diagnosis.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Visiting our office when you suspect that you might be displaying symptoms of sleep apnea can be the most beneficial decision you make as a proactive measure to counter the condition. You will be taken through a polysomnogram, which is a sleep apnea test, by our team of qualified professionals. The test is simply a sleep study made up of multiple tests that can react and transmit observed physical activities electronically when you are asleep. These recordings can then be analyzed by our team of experts with the aim of determining whether you have sleep apnea or not. The best option for treating a possible case of the condition is arrived at through further tests.
We find it important that you participate in your treatment; hence our qualified personnel will inform you of the treatment process which may include aspects like improved breathing exercises and weight loss combined with preventive measures such as avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills. For more information about sleep apnea and the benefits of treatment, call Premier Dental at one of our three convenient locations today!