Snoring occurs when there is a partial obstruction of the airway which causes the palatal tissues to vibrate. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway is completely blocked for longer than 10 seconds. Snoring is a social problem, particularly for the spouse, but obstructive sleep apnea poses a significant health risk for the patient in that it can lead to irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
Millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs in a cycle that can repeat itself anywhere from five to thirty times per hour.
The sleep apnea cycle involves:
- Falling asleep
- The jaw relaxing
- The airway becoming obstructed
- Unconsciously awakening to gasp for oxygen
Because oxygen is repeatedly blocked from the brain as airflow is stopped, it can cause the following symptoms:
- Decreased energy and stamina
- Dry mouth and throat
- Memory loss
These symptoms can be more or less severe depending on whether the patient has obstructive sleep apnea, mixed sleep apnea, or central sleep apnea. In many cases, long-term sleep apnea can lead to a myriad of health risks and should be treated as soon as possible.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It occurs when the soft tissue (the tongue, soft palate, and/or uvula) in the back of the throat collapses and blocks airflow. Those who snore may actually be experiencing the first signs of OSA.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is extremely rare and is the most dangerous type. During an episode, the brain ceases to communicate to the breathing muscles during sleep, which can result in death.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea. It begins with the patterns of central sleep apnea and then becomes obstructive. Once the obstructive component of mixed sleep apnea is treated, the more serious effects of central sleep apnea will lessen.
If you or someone you love suffers from snoring, save yourself from another sleepless night by talking to Dr. Hawary about the anti-snoring device today. It is an affordable, noni-nvasive, comfortable and effective snoring solution. The device works by preventing the tongue from falling back into the throat and increasing airway volume. These devices are made of medical-grade silicone and can be indicated for anyone, including those who wear full dentures.
Dental Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Because sleep apnea can lead to serious side effects, including increased blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, it is critical to find a solution.
In as little as five minutes, the general dentists and cosmetic dentists at Art of Dentistry Institute can:
- Assess your airway to see if it is narrow or collapsible
- Determine whether your lower jaw responds well to forward positioning, which will indicate whether or not an appliance will help the condition
- Evaluate the nasal airway for blockage or structural damage that may cause snoring
Once we determine your condition, we can effectively treat it at our office in Irvine, CA. Sleep apnea dental reatment will result not only in improved sleep, but also in improved overall health because of the side effects it will prevent.
If you suspect that you suffer from sleep apnea, please contact Art of Dentistry Institute for a confidential sleep apnea consultation. We will answer any questions you may have and guide you in determining the best treatment for your condition. Please call us at (949) 955-3366 today.