Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. It’s related to interrupted sleep due to loss of breath during sleeping. As a consequence, people wake up several times during the night and start feeling tired throughout the day. Most don’t realize why they’re waking up so frequently and it’s usually pointed out by a loved one.
The most common type of sleep apnea, which is called obstructive sleep apnea, is generally associated with snoring, grunting, and even gasping as the airway becomes blocked.
Since it’s very difficult to find out if you have sleep apnea on your own, your disturbed sleep and other symptoms are mostly observed by your partner. The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:
If left untreated it can result in a variety of serious issues including death. The conventional remedy for sleep apnea is a C-PAP machine which forces air continuously into the airway, helping them breathe throughout the night. It is loud, bulky and uncomfortable.
Thanks to dental procedures, you no longer have to go through the discomforts caused by the C-PAP machine. Dentists now use a dental appliance that positions your jaw in such a way that your airways stay opened during the sleep. This appliance prevents the tongue from falling back and blocking the airway which normally happens with sleep apnea. These appliances help you breathe normally throughout the night and maintain an open airway, preventing disturbed sleep.
Dental appliances are ideal for patients of sleep apnea, as they are light and comfortable to wear, easy to travel with and are the best solution if your sleep apnea is mild to moderate.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Obesity is believed to be the most common cause of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea can occur when the tongue and throat muscles are relaxed during sleep. This can block a person’s airway, making it difficult for them to breathe.
Studies show that sleep apnea can increase your risk of sudden death during sleep. This is especially true if you stop breathing more than 20 times per hour during sleep. This can cause the oxygen levels in your blood to fall severely and make you snort, choke or gasp. Your brain senses your inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that your airway can reopen.
A few of the warning signs of sleep apnea include:
Untreated sleep apnea can cause several life-threatening diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Obstructive sleep apnea deprives a person of restorative rest so they may feel fatigued the next day. This can be dangerous, especially if the person falls asleep at the wheel.
Traditionally, the only solution to treating Sleep Apnea had been to use a CPAP machine which is a noisy machine that plugs in and helps the patient breathe all night long. There are several parts.
One part is the machine that will have to be on the nightstand and the second part is the mask which fits over the patient’s nose and sometimes both the nose and mouth.
It is difficult to keep it clean and mask parts need replacing every couple of months. Plus a CPAP is simply not comfortable and very easy for patients to just quit using.
We can create a dental appliance that positions the jaw so the patient’s airway stays open while they sleep. When Sleep Apnea occurs, the tongue usually falls back and constricts the airway. The dental appliance positions the jaw in a way that prevents this and keeps the airway clear. With these simple appliances, they are able to breathe freely throughout the night and get the right amount of oxygen, without being interrupted while they sleep.
Dental appliances are becoming more popular for treating Sleep Apnea because they are not bulky and are comfortable to wear. These appliances work well in mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, but may not be the best solution for severe cases. Vast majority of Sleep Apnea patients, however, can be treated with dental appliances.
Dr. Wu is highly skilled to effectively treating sleep apnea through the application of a compact dental appliance. This extremely comfortable and innovative tool devised by Dr. Wu and her team helps to reduce the discomforts of the conventional treatments of sleep apnea.
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