Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes breathing obstruction at night, leading to chronic snoring and gasping for air. Sleep apnea interferes with restful sleep, affects those sleeping near you, and when left untreated, can lead to dangerous health conditions, such as an increased risk of heart attack. Some cases of sleep apnea can be treated with a custom-made dental appliance, which maintains an open, unobstructed airway in the throat to promote better breathing.

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Improve Your Sleep and Health with Sleep Apnea Treatment

A potentially serious condition, sleep apnea is characterized by breathing that repeatedly starts and stops during sleep. Symptoms often include loud snoring, difficulty staying asleep, and sleep that is not restful. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to dangerous health conditions, and other complications. If you are in need of sleep apnea treatment in the Mission Viejo, CA-area, Dr. Richard K. Hada can talk to you about a custom-made dental appliance. This treatment works by maintaining an open, unobstructed airway in the throat to promote better breathing. To learn if treatment with a dental appliance might be right for you, schedule an appointment today.

What is Sleep Apnea?

There are two types of sleep apnea. The most common type, obstructive sleep apnea, is the only kind that can be treated with a dental appliance. Obstructive sleep apnea results from the muscles in the back of the throat relaxing as you sleep. When this happens, it narrows or closes your airway when you breathe. The level of oxygen in your blood consequently drops, and your brain is alerted to replenish your oxygen, which briefly wakes you up. The waking is usually too brief for you to notice or remember.

Oral appliances are a conservative, patient-friendly treatment that can provide successful relief from sleep apnea. These customized appliances bring your jaw forward to keep the airway open.

The other type of sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, is much less common. It is often caused by certain medical conditions and medications. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to signal your breathing muscles to work. It produces similar symptoms to obstructive sleep apnea, including snoring, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and waking up with a dry mouth, sore throat, or headache.

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Risk Factors and Complications

Anyone can experience obstructive sleep apnea. There are, however, several known factors that increase your risk. These include a family history of sleep apnea, carrying excess weight, and having a thick neck or a narrowed airway. Smoking, nasal congestion, and the use of alcohol or sedatives can also increase your risk.

Males are twice as likely to suffer from the condition, and it is more common in adults over the age of 60. In small children, enlarged tonsils can also be a risk factor. If obstructive sleep apnea is not treated, it can have serious complications, including:

  • Increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure
  • Increased risk of obesity and diabetes
  • Sleepiness in the daytime, which can result in work-related or driving accidents

Additionally, obstructive sleep apnea can cause mood swings, problems with memory, headaches, dry mouth, and depression. Restless sleep and loud snoring can also disturb those who sleep near you, and disrupt your relationships.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Obstructive sleep apnea can be diagnosed by your primary care physician or sleep specialist. An overnight sleep study or a home sleep test might be involved to help diagnosis the condition. The primary treatment methods for obstructive sleep apnea are CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy and oral appliances. Surgery is typically reserved as a last resort, if other more conservative treatments fail.

Though CPAP is usually effective, some patients find it uncomfortable or difficult to use. Oral appliances are a conservative, patient-friendly treatment that can provide successful relief from sleep apnea. These customized appliances bring your jaw forward to keep the airway open.

Schedule Your Consultation

Obstructive sleep apnea can have a negative impact on your day to day activities, as well as your quality of life. To find out if a custom oral appliance could ease your sleep apnea symptoms and improve your health, contact Hada Family Dental today for a consultation.