There are many reasons why you can wake up feeling less than well rested; stress, poor sleep schedules, and bad eating habits to name a few. However, there is a condition that affects nearly 20 million Americans – over 87% of those cases remaining undiagnosed – that is causing rampant grogginess across the country.
– Sleep Apnea –
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is characterized by frequent breaks or pauses in breathing during sleep that disrupts rest.
What Are The Types Of Sleep Apnea?
There are three main types of sleep apnea- obstructive, central and complex.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the most frequent type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat slackens during sleep and obstructs the airway, often resulting in loud snoring.
- Central sleep apnea is significantly less common than obstructive sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system. It occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that regulate breathing. Central Sleep Apnea is seldom tied to snoring.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?
- You or your partner have noticed frequent pausing in your breathing while you are asleep
- You are tired during the day, even if you slept for 7-8 hours
- You wake up with headaches
- You suffer from high blood pressure
- You are overweight or obese
- You are irritable, depressed and moody and there is no direct cause
What To Do If You Think You May Suffer From Sleep Apnea?
If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact your dentist. Exceptional dental offices, in addition to offering traditional dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, will also offer Sleep Apnea appliances and treatment for mild to moderate cases.
What is Oral Apnea Appliance Therapy?
Worn only during sleep, an oral sleep apnea appliance is custom fitted and is worn just like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral sleep apnea appliances are prescribed for mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring caused by a repetitive obstruction to the airway, ONLY. It is designed to support the jaw in a forward position, maintaining an open upper airway.
If during your consultation with your dentist, you are prescribed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, you may be referred to a sleep specialist for a formal diagnosis and alternative care solutions.