The last decade has seen an increase in awareness about sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is defined as having bouts of restricted breathing while sleeping. This leads to constant tossing and turning, as well as waking up throughout the night.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
One of the more common types of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This type of breathing restriction occurs when the tongue and mouth tissues fall backwards toward the throat while one sleeps. When the tissues fall backward, it can partially block the airway. A partially blocked airway does not allow for the correct amount of breathing.
Obstructive sleep apnea has a strong correlation to snoring and grinding of one’s teeth. In addition, as the volume of air is restricted, the brain eventually needs more air and alerts the sleeper to wake up. Often times, one will awake gasping for air or forcefully coughing.
Treating Sleep Apnea
The diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea in Dallas, Texas, is best made in conjunction with a sleep test and consultation with your primary healthcare provider. Once appropriately diagnosed, there are a number of ways to provide treatment. If severe obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed, the physician may place the patient on a CPAP machine. The CPAP consists of a mask worn by the patient that delivers a constant flow of air into the patient’s mouth and/or nose.
For patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea or patients who cannot stand wearing a breathing mask to bed, a sleep apnea dental appliance can be a good solution. A sleep apnea dental appliance consists of an upper and lower night guard. The night guards connect together so that the lower jaw is held in position slightly forward. When the jaw is held forward, the soft tissues are held forward and the breathing is not restricted.
Call Us for More Information
If you or your partner are awakened suddenly gasping for air, snore, grind your teeth, or are tired all throughout the day, sleep apnea may be a cause. Talk with Dr. Jason Roe to discuss how you can find out if you are suffering from sleep apnea. Our experienced dentist will work with you and your physician to give you a comfortable solution to improve your sleep, protect your teeth, and increase your energy. Snoring can even be improved. Call today at Pro Dental Dallas to discuss your snoring and sleeping: 972-931-1777.