Sleep apnea typically refers to the condition of the nasal or oral airways being obstructed by tissue, such as the tongue. With sleep apnea, you may find it difficult to breathe adequately at night, and your sleep partner may complain that you snore loudly and frequently. You may also stop breathing several times throughout the night, which can cause you to jerk awake, gasping for breath. Overall, you will feel fatigued even after you have gotten plenty of sleep and may have memory issues, depression, high blood pressure or irritability throughout the day.
Thankfully, sleep apnea can be simple to treat once it is diagnosed. While self-diagnosis is popular, it is important to determine exactly how bad your sleep apnea is. The treatment chosen for you will depend on your budget, what is most comfortable for you and what will best treat the severity of your issues.
A CPAP is most frequently used and is considered the standard for treatment. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and is so named because it provides constant pressure through the nose mask to keep the airways open. However, some people have trouble with a CPAP, finding the mask to be uncomfortable to wear or finding the low-grade noise to be irritating for sleep. Others have such mild sleep apnea that they can use a better treatment option.
You may have also heard of oral devices used to keep the throat open. These devices are best if your sleep apnea is caused by your tongue covering up your airway. Oral appliances should always be fit by a skilled dentist to ensure that they are the right size and that they do not harm your mouth or your teeth.
If you have very mild sleep apnea, we may only recommend lifestyle changes that will help you breathe more easily at night. However, it all depends on the unique case.
If you are ready to breathe easier and sleep better, come to Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry to learn more about the available sleep apnea treatments. Contact us today to book a dental appointment at our office in Champions Gate or Winter Haven.