Sleep Apnea & Snoring
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that could cause a person to stop and start breathing repeatedly through the night. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated properly. Our oral medicine specialist, Dr Rashmi Malhotra at Seablue Dental is trained to manage sleap apnea by the use of oral devices.
If you are always tired even after getting a good night’s sleep, you may have sleep apnea. This disease is not easy to identify because if you sleep alone, you don’t know whether you snore at night. While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, that is one of the signs of the condition.
Types Of Sleep Apnea:
There are three kinds of sleep apnea:
Obstructive : This is the most common kind in which the throat muscles relax.
Central : This happens when the brain does not communicate with the breathing muscles.
Complex : This is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms:
Aside from feeling tired and lacking energy during the day, there are other symptoms of sleep apnea including
- Loud snoring that disrupts your partner or wakes you at night
- Dry throat from sleeping with an open mouth
- Lack of breathing reported by a partner
- Headaches when you wake up in the morning
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Excessive tiredness or falling asleep unintentionally during the day
- Difficulty focusing
- Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
- Waking up with a sweaty head and neck
- Waking up several times per night to urinate
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Irregular heartbeat
- Poorly controlled blood pressure, even on multiple medications
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Your tongue shifts and moves further into your throat when you are lying in bed sleeping. If the muscles in your throat relax, the airways become narrower or can close altogether which prevents you from breathing.
In obstructive sleep apnea, if you can’t get enough air into the airways, this can result in lower oxygen levels in the blood. You may wake suddenly because of the lack of oxygen, but you fall back asleep again, and the cycle repeats. If you wake up choking or gasping for air, you may have sleep apnea. The reason sleep apnea affects your daytime activities is because these episodes can happen dozens of times during the night.
The most dangerous form of sleep apnea is the central kind because you don’t instinctively wake up from lack of oxygen. You may still wake up, but if you don’t that could be dangerous.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
You must let us know if you suspect you have sleep apnea so that we can determine the best treatment for you. Treatments for sleep apnea depend on the severity of each individual case, and the type of apnea. To diagnose the condition, we will ask that you stay in an overnight center where you will be hooked to a machine that will monitor your sleep patterns, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and limb movements. There are options to do testing at home as well.
Sleep apnea therapy may include using a CPAP mask over your head for sleeping. This keeps your airways open at night, but many patients can’t get used to it. If this is your situation, there are other airway devices. Oral devices similar to orthodontic retainers can be used to position the lower jaw forward slightly in such a way that opens up the airway.
Surgery is another option, but we only resort to that after trying different treatments.
Please call Seablue Dental at 253-336-3000 for a consultation, if you are concerned you may have sleep apnea and want to get treated with the use of oral device.
Sleep Apnea References:
Seablue Dental Office FAQ
Everyone’s needs are different, so have a chat to your dentist about how often you need to have your teeth checked by them based on the condition of your mouth, teeth and gums. It’s recommended that children see their dentist at least once a year.
Regular checkups keep you updated with your oral health and help diagnose and timely treatment of any problems developing in your tooth or gums or oral tissues.
You dentist will conduct an exam and x-rays at your dental visits and educate you about your oral health.
Regular brushing and flossing after every meal should keep the food particles from depositing in crevices of your tooth and hence keeps the harmful bacteria causing the tooth decay in check.
If there is a medical emergency or life threatening condition, call 911 or go to nearest ER.
Sometimes. Contact us for a consultation.