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Sleep Apnea Treatment

Snoring may seem like a nuisance, but it can be an indication of a more serious problem. Perhaps you also experience sleepless and restless nights that keep you from receiving the quality rest that your body needs. However, there is hope and a sleep apnea Alhambra dentist may be the one to help you get a better night’s rest.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep condition that affects the consistency of your breathing while you sleep. It can be best described as a momentary pause on your regular breathing pattern. 

 

Sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles momentarily interrupt airflow by obstructing your air passage while you sleep. Snoring is a key indicator of sleep apnea. For this reason, the treatment for snoring and sleep apnea are usually the same.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Exessive or frequent snoring

  • Not feeling rested after waking

  • Feeling tired during the day

  • Waking in the middle of the night

  • Headaches

  • Poor concentration

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • High blood pressure

  • Strokes

  • Other sleep disturbances

  • Decreased sex drive

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Muscles are located in the back of your throat that support the roofing system of your mouth. These muscles consist of a triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, and your tongue. 

 

Sleep apnea occurs when these muscles relax excessively and interrupt your breathing. As the muscles relax, your airway narrows, which prevents you from taking in air. This can affect your blood oxygen levels and allow carbon dioxide can build up. 

 

Your brain responds to this disruption by waking you up momentarily so that your breathing can be restored. During this phase, it’s common to hear someone choke or gasp as they attempt to reopen the airway. This pattern can repeat itself throughout the night, but you may not remember it. However, even if you’re not aware, these interruptions affect you from getting the quality and restful sleep you need. And we know that lack of adequate sleep affects how you perform the following day. 

How a Dentist Can Help with Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Dental sleep dentistry is an area that focuses on the use of oral appliance therapy to treat sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is a professional organization for dentists who help patients treat snoring and sleep apnea through the use of these therapies.

How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?

Dentists developed the use of oral appliance therapy for treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.

The therapy works by placing a custom-fitted oral device that fits like a mouthguard or dental retainer. It helps by preventing the narrowing of the airway and allowing you to breathe.

An oral appliance device can help you get a good night’s sleep and will improve the quality of your health and well-being.

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