What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a medical condition that affects millions of people every year. While some forms of sleep apnea are medical in nature and require a medical doctor or other specialist to treat, there are some that we can treat here at Aspire Dental Spa. This type of sleep apnea, called obstructive sleep apnea, is actually quite common. With a simple dental device, we can help you breathe normally at night and get the rest you deserve.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway is partially or fully blocked. Usually, this blockage is caused by the muscles of the throat relaxing and falling too far down. However, it can also be caused by your tongue rolling back and blocking the airway. To counter this, your respiratory system has to work much harder than it should while you sleep. Often, those with sleep apnea partially wake up enough to move. Many people wake up dozens of times during the night, though they do not become fully conscious. However, each time they wake up, it breaks the body’s sleep cycle. This means they are not well-rested in the morning.
The other common type of sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, is not caused by a blockage of the airway. Instead, it is caused by a brain condition that causes the respiratory system to stop automatically functioning until you wake up enough to jolt you into taking a breath.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
If you wake up every day feeling as if you have not slept well, it could be a sign that you have sleep apnea. There are a few other symptoms you can look for in order to tell if this condition is what is leaving you feeling groggy and tired. Snoring is one common symptom, as is becoming fully conscious multiple times during the night. You may wake up coughing, choking, or gasping as if you cannot breathe. Your throat may also feel sore. Your concentration and behavior is also likely to be affected. You may find it hard to concentrate, have a headache, and feel drained.
How We Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
We treat obstructive sleep apnea with an oral appliance. These appliances are similar to mouthguards in some ways. You wear the appliance while you sleep in order to keep your airway open. There are two types of oral appliances, and depending on what is causing your sleep apnea, you may need one or both of them. One type holds the tongue in place, so it does not fall back into your mouth. The other affects your lower jaw and prevents your throat muscles from falling back into the airway.
Each of these devices is created specifically to fit your mouth using precise measurements. While it can take a few nights to get used to the feel of using one of these devices, by making a custom appliance, we ensure it will be as comfortable as possible. You will shortly find that you get used to the feel of the appliance in your mouth and are able to sleep much better.
Do You Need Treatment for Sleep Apnea?
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms of sleep apnea listed above, you should come in for an appointment. We will determine whether you have sleep apnea and if it is treatable with an oral appliance. Call Aspire Dental Spa at (216) 342-4388 to schedule your appointment.