Sleep Apnea Treatment
Do you get a full night of sleep, but still wake up feeling tired and unrested? You may be suffering from sleep apnea, a disorder that affects approximately 18 million Americans. Sleep apnea affects people of all ages and in different ways; many people may not even realize they suffer from it. However, if you suspect you might be experiencing sleep apnea, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our Raleigh dentist, as untreated sleep apnea can have serious side effects.
What is Sleep Apnea?
With obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleeping disorder, tissues at the back of the throat block the airway by collapsing periodically. This prevents you from breathing for anywhere from a few seconds to up two minutes. As a result, people with OSA snort and gasp for air throughout the night.
Although sleep apnea patients might be completely unaware of what's happening, the repeated interruptions of sleep make it impossible for them to get the rest they need. As a result, sleep apnea can lead to other health issues that affect you in ways that can be annoying, or even life-threatening. Some potential problems may include:
- Mental confusion
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
Sleep Apnea Symptoms & Signs
Frequent snoring and insomnia are signs you may be experiencing sleep apnea. Factors that may increase the chances of sleep apnea include heavy smoking, upper body obesity, and a family history of sleep apnea. Another way to identify sleep apnea is by coming to your Raleigh dentist. Dentists and dental hygienists can sometimes detect signs of airway obstruction in patients when they are reclined for treatment
What Treatment Options are Available?
There are several ways to treat sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy – a mouth guard is worn at night to keep the airway open.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy – involves wearing a mask connected to a CPAP machine that pumps oxygen and helps keep the airway open.
Surgery – if non-surgical options prove unsuccessful, excess tissue in the throat and mouth can be removed to open up the airway.
Sleep Better Today
Our Raleigh dental team would be glad to answer any questions you may have about sleep apnea, including potential causes, symptoms, and treatment. Feel free to contact us today. And should you have questions about our other services—from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry—we would be happy to answer those as well!