In the United States, studies show that at least 10 to 12 million people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA. This serious disorder prevents people from obtaining the rest needed to function properly during the day. If you experience the warning signs of sleep apnea, then you need to talk to your dentist about possible treatment options. How do you treat sleep apnea?
Question: What are the symptoms of OSA?
Answer: Patients with sleep apnea often feel exhausted during the day. They also report chronic snoring and episodes of waking up choking or gasping for air. As the condition worsens, dry throat, depression, moodiness, and difficulty concentrating may also develop.
Question: Why do we develop this sleep disorder?
Answer: The problem occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the mouth and in the throat become overly relaxed, collapsing and cutting off airflow. The patient then stops breathing until the brain wakes them after registering a lack of oxygen. The patient won’t remember these episodes, but will feel exhausted from the cycle of waking and going to sleep, which can happen hundreds of times a night.
Question: Will I need a CPAP Machine?
Answer: For some cases, we may recommend a CPAP machine. The patient wears a mask over the nose and mouth. The mask is connected to a machine via a hose. The machine pumps air through the nose and mouth, preventing obstruction.
Question: How does a sleep guard work?
Answer: A sleep guard is like a nightguard. Worn while sleeping, the guard moves the jaw forward slightly to keep airways open. Since the airflow isn’t obstructed, you can sleep better and avoid the symptoms of OSA.