Treating Sleep Apnea the Right Way

Posted by Sun-Park Dental Sep 18,2020

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Sleep is a crucial part of our everyday routine as it helps us relax and rejuvenate for the next day. It is advised that adults ought to sleep for at least 7 hours every day, which gives the body the necessary time to rest. Also, reaching the deeper stages of sleep is quite important, as it allows the glands to release a few essential hormones that are necessary for the growth and development of the body. This can be denied by sleep disorders, of which sleep apnea is a prominent one.

What is sleep apnea?

The tissues of the body relax and loosen up when we sleep. This applies to the muscles of the throat and the airway as well. In some individuals, the muscles may loosen a little too much, due to which they tend to collapse from the roof of the throat and block the airway. The blockage can either be complete or partial, which denies the optimum oxygen supply to the lungs. This condition is called obstructive sleep apnea and is fairly common among adults. In some instances, the brain may not signal the lungs to inhale and exhale on time due to which the individual may briefly stop breathing and resume shortly afterward. This condition is called central sleep apnea.

What are the symptoms?

  • While asleep, the patient may experience brief pauses in breathing.
  • The blockage in the throat may cause the patient to wake up suddenly from sleep, often gasping for air. This can be quite a traumatizing experience.
  • Patients may not be able to explore the deeper stages of sleep, which reduces their sleep quality.
  • Patients tend to snore loudly.
  • Frequent headaches, especially in the morning, shortly after waking up.
  • Bruxism, or subconscious night-time teeth grinding.
  • Throughout the day, the patient may feel sleepy, easily irritated, or generally tired.

How can sleep apnea be treated?

When you visit our dental practice, we will conduct a thorough diagnosis of the condition and suggest a few changes in your lifestyle to alleviate it. Some of them are:

  • Practicing a healthy diet
  • Quitting the consumption of alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and chewing tobacco
  • Sticking to simple and relaxed sleeping positions
  • Losing weight
  • Reducing the mental stress levels

Along with these, we may also suggest oral appliances such as a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). It is a custom-fabricated appliance that patients can use while going to bed. It prevents the collapse of the tissues from the roof of the throat and brings the lower jaw forward, which expands the opening to the airway. If the condition is severe, we may have to suggest a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP). It is a combination of a pressurized oxygen supply with a face mask that you can put on before sleeping. The oxygen supply maintains a positive pressure in the airway, thus keeping it from closing abruptly.

It is best not to ignore sleep apnea. The longer you wait to get it treated, the symptoms could gradually worsen.

Call us 916-435-1155 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Nguyen for a consultation at our office in Rocklin, CA.

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