Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatments Irvine
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.