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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Why is the Dentist the Best Person to Treat Sleep Apnea?

May 30, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — nawrockidmdteam @ 2:00 pm

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is temporary pause in breathing while sleeping. The pause may last a few seconds to a several minutes. Often sleep apnea occurs when an individual’s airway is blocked, which interrupts the airflow and snoring may occur. Typically an individual with sleep apnea is unaware that he or she is having difficulty breathing during the night. Symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, restless sleep or tiredness during the day.

How many people are affected and what are the signs and symptoms?

Sleep apnea is very common, as common as type 2 diabetes. It affects more than 18 million Americans. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of 40, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. The vast majority of sleep apnea patients remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences. Sleep apnea is seen more frequently among men than among women, particularly African-American and Hispanic men. A major symptom is extremely loud snoring, sometimes so loud that bed partners find it intolerable. Other indications that sleep apnea may be present are obesity, persistent daytime sleepiness, bouts of awakening out of breath during the night, and frequently waking in the morning with a dry mouth or a headache. But none of these symptoms is always present.

Snoring OBS connection

Sleep apnea is a condition where your airway is blocked during sleeping. This causes you to stop breathing for as long as 10 seconds at a time, and makes you choke and gasp as you recover and suck in air. This condition can lead to heart problems, stroke and weight fluctuations. This condition is caused by obstructions in the back of the throat. Most often it’s the collapse of the soft tissue where the back of the tongue and throat meet. This is why it’s often accompanied by loud, chronic snoring. Other sleep apnea symptoms that can help you decide when it’s time to see the doctor include morning headaches, daytime fatigue and never feeling rested.

How is it diagnosed and consequences?

Only a sleep study in a sleep laboratory or a home sleep study can show definitively that sleep apnea is present and how severe it is. Your medical doctor must make the diagnosis of OSA. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.

How is OBS treated?

Different treatments for sleep apnea are available including weight loss, nasal decongestants, positional therapy, surgery, oral appliances, and positive airway pressure devices (CPAP) are various forms of treatment. The industry standard for treatment is the CPAP. This is an uncomfortable face mask that must be worn all night for results. Dentist have a unique ability to help those patient’s that find CPAP and other face mask treatments uncomfortable in that we on a daily basis make intra oral appliances. Several options exist, one of which is the Somnodent mouthpiece. This fits comfortably inside your mouth, making it easy to wear, easy to sleep and ensuring the best results possible.

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