Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by complete or partial obstructive of the upper airway.
It is charactertized by the reduction or pausing of breathing, despite the effort to breathe, and/or the reduction of blood oxygen levels. These events during the night are called apneas and can last from a few seconds to minutes at a time.
What causes sleep apnea?
While you are awake, the muscles of your airway stay open so that your lungs can receive oxygen to breathe.
When we sleep, the muscles of the airway relax, narrowing the airway to our lungs. In certain, at risk individuals, this narrowing with cause the flow of air to slow or at times stop flow and quit breathing! Symptoms of sleep apnea may include some of the following:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Attention problems (ADHD)
- Breathing stops and can be witnessed by another person
- Dry mouth upon opening
- High Blood Pressure
- Nighttime urination
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Morning Headaches
- Jaw clenching, grinding
Does Sleep Apnea affect my health?
Yes, sleep apnea affects your overall health. Sleep apnea can cause your blood pressure to increase due to excessive wakening during the night. It also increases your risk for Ischemic heart disease (25%), coronary heart disease (17%) and stroke (7%). Asthma, ADHD, type II diabetes, and acid reflux are also related to sleep apnea.
Who can get sleep apnea?
Anyone can get sleep apnea! Risk factors for sleep apnea include obesity, increasing age, male gender, family history, alcohol and sedative use, smoking, hypertension, breathing disorders such as asthma, menopause and anatomic abnormalities of the upper airway. What is the treatment for sleep apnea?
There are three treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
There is surgery of your upper airway, CPAP (continuous postitive airway pressure) or oral appliance therapy. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea you may be treated with either a oral appliance that you wear at night or CPAP therapy. Either method has been proven effective in treating sleep apnea. If you have severe sleep apnea, your sleep physician will have you try a CPAP machine first. If you cannot tolerate a CPAP therapy, you can still be treated with an oral appliance that will correct your sleep apnea.
Examples of oral appliances used at Scott Dental Group
What do I need to do to get treated for sleep apnea?
First, you need to make an appointment at Scott Dental Group. At the first appointment, you will have a consultation to discuss your health and treatment for sleep apnea. After the consultation, we will need you to get a sleep study performed with either a home sleep study or at a sleep center. After your sleep apnea has been confrimed by a medical professional, we can fabricate an oral appliance to correct your sleep apnea.
Call Scott Dental Group to make an appointment to change your health today!