September 15, 2019
Do you know what obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is? Considering 80 percent of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea cases remain unnoticed, we won’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it. This unknowingly common disorder is alarming, causing people to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. What’s more, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it affects 22 million adult men and women in the United States.
In this article, our doctors here at Cunning Dental will discuss with you the characteristics of obstructive sleep apnea, as well as the treatment options we provide at our dental practices. Let’s begin.
When the muscles positioned at the back of your throat relax, sleep apnea occurs. These muscles play an essential role in supporting the soft palate, the uvula or triangular tissue hanging from the soft palate, the tonsils, the sidewalls of the throat, and the tongue.
When these muscles relax, your airway becomes narrow and sometimes closes as you breathe in. Because you’re not getting sufficient air, the oxygen level in your blood can drop. Then, once your brain senses your inability to breathe, it will abruptly wake you from your slumber, which allows you to reopen your airway. Oftentimes, you won’t even remember waking up because of how fast it happened.
You might experience chronic snoring, snorting, choking, or gasping. This pattern can repeat itself up to 400 times each night, preventing you from reaching the deep, restful phases of sleep. As a result, you might feel lethargic or sleepy throughout the day.
Without proper treatment, obstructive sleep apnea can cause serious and life-threatening consequences. According to Healthline, here are some of the many ailments you can have alongside OSA:
Further, you have an increased risk of driving accidents as a direct result of falling asleep at the wheel.
If you have a mild case of obstructive sleep apnea, your healthcare provider may recommend lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight. However, if these measures do not improve your symptoms or if your case is moderate to severe, powerful treatments are available.
Here at Cunning Dental, among our expertise is obstructive sleep apnea treatments in Southern California. To be specific, we provide:
Oral appliances for sleep apnea are premium, custom-fitted dental devices designed for the treatment of snoring and other symptoms of OSA. They are efficient, comfortable, and durable alternatives to other therapies or corrective surgery.
By wearing your customized appliance while sleeping, your lower jaw (mandible) will move forward into a comfortable position. This enables the muscles at the back of your throat to relax and ensures the base of your tongue does not collapse and obstruct your airway. The result is soundless, restful sleep. Some patients prefer oral appliance therapy for its convenience, comfort, and profound effectiveness.
If you have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy is an ideal treatment method that can alleviate your symptoms and allow you to improve your sleep quality. It is also a helpful alternative if you have severe OSA, but are unable or indisposed to tolerate CPAP or corrective surgery. Call our office at (855) 328-6646 to learn more or to schedule your consultation.
Despite having a multitude of surgical options for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, CPAP is often the treatment of choice for anyone who has OSA since it allows a patient to breathe with ease as they enter the phases of deep sleep. Oral appliance therapy, on the other, is an effectual and comfortable alternative treatment option for someone with mild to severe sleep apnea, but cannot handle CPAP or surgery. During your initial consultation with our OSA treatment expert, we will help you decide which option is most appropriate for your case.
Cunning Dental in Southern California focuses on helping people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and cosmetic dentistry related concerns. Connect with us today for a FREE exam to see how we can help you get better sleep at night.