December 4, 2016
Have you been told that you snore excessively? Do you wake with morning time headaches? If so, you may be one of the 25 million Americans who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the sleep disorder, resulting from an obstruction in the airway. The obstruction causes pauses in breathing frequently while sleeping as the airways become narrowed. Over time, there is a significant decrease in quality of life while the risk for potentially deadly health complications develops. Thankfully, sleep apnea in Grafton is easily treatable with your dentist at Kern Family Dentistry.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is categorized as a sleep disorder, which causes multiple pauses in breathing while sleeping. Each interruption can potentially last for one minute or more. The pauses in breathing are caused from the collapsing of the airways as the tongue and lower jaw move out of their correct position. As this decreases the airflow to the upper airway, snoring is the most common symptom of the disorder. However, loud chronic snoring is not the only complication.
Complications from sleep apnea can extend to all areas of life. Often, those with the condition receive poor sleep quality due to waking frequently, often choking or gasping for air. This often causes a dry throat, morning time headaches, and daytime fatigue. Over time, the lack of proper sleep can lead to sleep deprivation, which causes mood changes, depression, and a decrease in cognitive abilities. Long-term, untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and depression.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you will need to undergo a sleep study. A sleep study will monitor you while you sleep, including your oxygen levels and heart rate. Using the information gathered from the study, a proper diagnosis is given to formulate a treatment plan.
Often, sleep apnea can be treated with oral appliance therapy. Your dentist at Kern Family Dentistry will provide you with a custom oral appliance, which is worn at night while you sleep. The appliance repositions your jaw forward to keep the airways open. This is often the most preferred form of treatment and can be very effective.
In some cases, oral appliance therapy may not be enough, requiring a CPAP machine instead. A CPAP machine is a device that is used at night. A mask is worn over the mouth or nose to deliver a steady stream of air while you sleep. The light air pressure will keep the airways open, while also preventing a drop in oxygen.
Where Can I Get Sleep Apnea Treatment?
After receiving a diagnosis, Dr. Kern can help you with your sleep apnea treatment. Dr. Kern will evaluate the results of your sleep study and discuss your preferences to choose an effective form of treatment. With the right treatment, you will restore your quality of life and sleep soundly. If you need treatment for sleep apnea, contact Kern Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.
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