Urban Smiles Dental




SERVICES & PROCEDURES



SLEEP APNEA

What is a Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain and the rest of the body may not get enough oxygen.As a consequence, you spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, restorative sleep you need to be energetic, mentally sharp, and productive the next day.
This chronic sleep deprivation results in daytime sleepiness, slow reflexes, poor concentration, and an increased risk of accidents. Sleep apnea can also lead to serious health problems over time, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain. But with treatment you can control the symptoms, get your sleep back on track, and start enjoy being refreshed and alert every day.

What are different types of Sleep Apnea?

  • Obstructive sleep apnea: It is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, often causing you to snore loudly.

  • Central sleep apnea: It is a much less common type of sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system, occurring when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. People with central sleep apnea seldom snore.

  • Complex sleep apnea: It is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being overweight.
  • Being over age 40.
  • Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women).
  • Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone.
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD.
  • Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems.

What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?

If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Stroke.
  • Heart failure, irregular heart beats, and heart attacks.
  • Diabetes.
  • Depression.
  • Worsening of ADHD.
  • Headaches.

What does sleep apnea treatment involve?

Initially, the dentist will want to conduct tests in order to investigate, diagnose, and pinpoint a suitable treatment. The dentist can offer many different treatment options which depend largely on the exact diagnosis and the health of the patient. The dentist may advise the patient to halt some habits that aggravate sleep apnea such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and tranquilizer use.
Sleeping masks were traditionally used to keep the patient’s airways open while they slept, but nowadays there are some less intrusive options. Dental devices that gently tease the lower jaw forward are very effective in preventing the tongue from blocking the main air passage. These dental devices are gentle, easy to wear, and often help patients avoid unwanted surgeries.
A more permanent solution is to have surgery that sections the lower jaw and helps pull the bone holding the tongue forward slightly. This surgery has an impressive success rate and is simple for the dentist or oral surgeon to perform. The dentist needs to formally make a diagnosis of each individual case before recommending the best course of action.



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