How Do You Treat My Sleep Apnea?
Snoring can sometimes be a sign of a serious sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of your throat and mouth collapse upon your airway causing you to lose oxygen in your bloodstream. Your brain is signaled that you are suffocating. Your brain then signals to the body to wake up and gasp for air. While your body may wake up, your mind might not remember it the next day. Instead you may find yourself feeling extra groggy despite the number of hours that you believe that slept. Your dentist can help fit you for an oral appliance that can prevent sleep apnea.
Custom-Fit Oral Appliance
The oral appliance is worn similarly to a mouth guard. The bottom part of the appliance gently pulls your bottom jaw forward, which helps to move the soft tissue and also open the airway further. This mouth guard will keep your mouth in a position that is less likely to cause obstructive sleep apnea. An alternative to an oral appliance is using a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The continuous flow of air can help to keep the airways open. A CPAP requires the use of a large facial mask. An oral appliance could be just as effective with less bulky equipment.
Reasons to Treat It
While you may not notice your snoring or gasps for air, your family or partner may. Your body also notices the stress that obstructive sleep apnea puts onto you. Without restful sleep, you may be moody and drowsy. Sleep-deprived people are often more prone to getting into accidents, making accidents at work, or gaining weight. The oxygen deprivation in your blood each night can lead to high blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea can also increase your risks for diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and more. Continuing to live with sleep apnea means that your risks will continue to increase. Treatment can help lessen your risks of developing these health issues.