Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you are asleep. There are different types of sleep apnea - Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), as well as Complex Sleep Apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The symptoms of different types of sleep apnea may overlap. Sometimes it may become difficult for you to understand the kind of sleep apnea you may be suffering from. The most common signs and symptoms of the problem include loud snoring, gasping for air while you are asleep, morning headache, waking up with a dry mouth, insomnia, etc. Sometimes, you may also experience episodes where you stop breathing during sleep, which is generally described by another person.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea results when the tissues positioned in the back of your throat relax. The role of these muscles is to support the soft palate, uvula, sidewalls of your throat, and tongue.
When your throat muscles relax, the airway narrows as you breathe. Consequently, you do not get enough air, which lowers down the oxygen level in your blood. It also causes you to briefly arise from sleep as your brain senses your inability to inhale properly. The condition may result in gasping, choking, and snoring and must not be taken lightly.
You may be suffering from central sleep apnea when your brain is unable to transmit signals to your lung muscles. It means that your breathing stops for a short time. It also results in the inability to sleep.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
After experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it is integral that you schedule an appointment with our dentist and discuss your treatment plan. Our dentist will look into your symptoms and determine the kind of sleep apnea, after which we will recommend a proper treatment option.
CPAP therapy is widely used to treat the condition. This therapy also involves the use of two dental appliances.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
Also known as MAD, it appears like athletic mouth guards, fitting over the upper and lower sets of your teeth. It includes a hinge that connects both the trays in the center. The role of this device is to hold your lower jaw and tongue in a forward position, which holds the soft tissues in the back of your mouth and prevents your throat muscles from blocking the airway when you are asleep. We adjust this device as per your comfort.
Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces
You will also be given a tongue-retaining mouthpiece, especially if you have minimal jaw flexibility. This device ensures that your tongue doesn’t fall back into the airway while you are asleep. It fits properly around your tongue and uses light suction force to hold it in place.
Please reach out to All Smile Dental in Turlock, CA, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Singh. Please call us at (209) 668-3736 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.