Obstructive sleep apnea is very common and potentially life-threatening medical disorder that prevents airflow during sleep. More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and many are not receiving treatment. Sleep apnea occurs when tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to all of your organs including your heart and brain. People with sleep apnea may snore loudly and stop breathing for short periods of time.
In addition to snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea can cause memory loss, morning headaches, irritiablity, depression, and impaired concentration. Nearly 1 in 5 car accidents causing serious injury are associated with excessive day time sleepiness. Snoring has been found in an estimated 24 percent of adult woman, 40 percent of adult men, and about 12 percent of children. More than 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.
Oral appliance therapy is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and an effective alternative treatment to CPAP. Administered by a dentist, oral appliance therapy uses a custom-fit “mouth guard-like” device worn during sleep to maintain an open unobstructed airway. With an oral appliance, dentists can minimize or eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea in mild to moderate cases. Once a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea or a sleep related breathing disorder, a dentist may provide treatment.
If you have any of these symptoms daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person, abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, morning headache, difficulty staying asleep, and attention problems, you might have sleep apnea. Please call us today on how you can get a restful night’s sleep.