What is Sleep Apnea?
Often mistaken for persistent snoring, sleep apnea can be a serious condition that upsets a person’s sleep, meaning they cannot have a proper night’s rest. It is defined by the consistent stopping and starting of a person’s breathing during the night.
Robert J. Malone DDS understands how distressing sleep apnea can be, and the serious disturbances it can have on your daily life. We offer a range of different appliances and treatments to help you get your sleep back on track.
What are the Causes?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is either categorized as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), or central sleep apnea. The former is the most common, which is caused by the muscle at the back of the throat relaxing, and therefore making it difficult to breathe. This process continuously wakes up a person during the night and makes them tired and restless the next day.
Central sleep apnea is similar to the first, in that it involves the throat muscles functioning incorrectly, but it is due to the brain’s nerve signals, which are being sent incorrectly.
As you can guess, one of the main symptoms is insomnia, as the sufferer cannot sleep properly due to their constant waking up. Another key symptom is loud snoring, which can wake up the sufferer, and can upset a partner they’re sleeping with.
Night sweats and bruxism (teeth grinding) can also be symptoms of sleep apnea, as well as the effect of a lack of sleep on their daily routine. Daytime symptoms include headaches, fatigue, difficulty paying attention and low energy.
How Can I Treat My Sleep Apnea?
You may not have thought sleep apnea was treated through us, but since it relates to the mouth, and can be solved that way, we can alleviate your symptoms.
It is a good idea to visit your general practitioner, in case there is something they need to have a look at. It is also likely that we refer you to an orthodontist, if the alignments of your teeth is having an adverse effect on your sleep.
The most non-invasive treatment available is through the use of a custom-fit mouthguard, that can reduce any teeth grinding symptoms, and open the mouth wider to encourage constant airflow. Mouthguards are made at a dental lab, based off the mold we take of your teeth, which means it fits snugly in the mouth and does not disturb your sleep.
We would either advise the use of a normal mouthguard, which you would be familiar with if you’ve ever played a contact or object sport, or oral appliance therapy which also encourages constant airflow, but by pushing the bottom jaw forward.
A Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) machine is for serious cases of sleep apnea, as it provides a constant airflow directly into the airways, and therefore prevents the intermittent sleep. The air is administered via a mask that has been attached to the machine at all times.
Robert J. Malone DDS can help you relieve symptoms of sleep apnea, and prevent restless nights. To see how we can help, call us at (760) 546-5557.