What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea refers to a full or partial obstruction of the airway during sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause insomnia, chronic headaches, high blood pressure, and even an increased risk of heart disease. The signs of sleep apnea may include fatigue, sleepiness during the daytime, weight gain, mood swings, and depression. It may also lead to eye problems like glaucoma, complications with medications and surgery, and nocturia (the need to frequently urinate at night). There is no one-size-fits-all solution for sleep apnea, but your dentist can walk you through your options to drastically decrease the prevalence of your symptoms.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three main types of sleep apnea. They may present with similar symptoms, but they each have varying causes. They include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the most common type of sleep apnea, and it often is the cause of the stereotypical snoring that many people associate with the disorder. It is the result of a blockage in your throat that prevents you from getting the proper amount of oxygen.
- Central sleep apnea: Central sleep apnea is caused by the brain failing to correctly relay information to your breathing muscles. While this type of sleep apnea does not often count snoring as a symptom, central sleep apnea has many of the same symptoms as its obstructive counterpart.
- Mixed sleep apnea: This form of sleep apnea is a combination of the obstructive and central types. An obstruction may be stopping you from breathing properly, but your brain could also be struggling to send your muscles the right signals.
Your dentist can help you ascertain the form of sleep apnea you are dealing with and prescribe an appropriate course of treatment.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is often treated with a specialized dental appliance that prevents the throat from collapsing while you sleep. The device supports your tongue and throat muscles to keep them from blocking the flow of air into your lungs. It may also gently nudge your lower jaw forward to preserve the proper alignment of your bite. Sleep apnea appliances are custom-made to fit your unique needs to ensure that your sleep apnea symptoms can be effectively managed. They are also designed to fit the contours of your individual smile, making them comfortable to wear throughout the night. Sleep apnea treatment could also involve the use of a CPAP machine.
Contact Smile Moore Dentistry
Get the quality sleep you deserve with our professional sleep apnea treatment at Smile Moore Dentistry. For more information about our oral health services or to schedule an appointment, call our Buford office at 770-945-5369 or send us a message on our website.