Sleep Apnea

What You Need to Know about Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a health disorder that affects millions of Americans. More often than not, a person is unaware that one is suffering from it. It has been said that up to 90 percent of people with the disorder are undiagnosed. It is characterized by breath pauses while sleeping that can last for 20 to 30 seconds. Several indicators of sleep apnea are choking, snoring, snorting, and teeth grinding. That’s why is often the person sleeping with someone suffering from it who notice the condition first.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are two types of sleep apnea. The first one is known as central sleep apnea that is caused by delayed signals of the brain to the breathing muscles. Once the breathing stops, the oxygen level starts to decrease. It is a known nervous system disorder that is caused by a disease or injury involving the brainstem. People suffering from this type may not snore, but they do experience shortness of breath.

The other type of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea, which is the more common one among the two. It is caused by a blocked airway. The blockage might be caused by over-relaxed tongue and muscles, bone and facial structure deformities, and obesity. When the airway is blocked, the person will stop breathing and start to snort and gasp.

And when the oxygen level is reduced, carbon dioxide level goes up. The brain will try to normalize the breathing process and wakes the person in order. The brain will try to open the airway by adjusting the throat and tongue muscles that lead to loud snoring. The person suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will not be aware of snoring or remember waking up for a short period of time.

Both types of sleep apnea have different causes. However, their effects are the same that include reduced levels of oxygen in the brain, excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, fatigue, and poor sleep. Sleep apnea can also lead to heart irregularities and high blood pressure if the oxygen level reaches a very low level. The disorder can also disturb one’s partner due to the loud snoring.

How to Treat Sleep Apnea

There are several ways to treat sleep apnea. One of the options is the dental application known as Mandibular Advancement Device or the Jaw Advancing Device. These mouthpieces are made by dentists with the use of a mold. Not only will the mouth guard oral appliance be used to treat sleep apnea, it is also an effective way to help you stop snoring.

It works by moving the jaw forward and improve the size of the upper airway. This will reduce the air resistance that causes sleep apnea. Oral appliances are an alternative to sleep apnea oral surgery. They are also known as anti-snoring devices that work by reducing the turbulence in the airway.

If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea, it is best that you consult a dentist right away. One will know the right way to treat the disorder and help you sleep better at night.